Signs of spring are EVERYWHERE!
I forgot how much I love spring because for as long as I can remember my area of the world hasn’t had a ‘true’ spring. We’ve gone from winter to summer seemingly overnight. For the first time, in a very long time, summer is slowly creeping up on us and allowing spring a moment to shine. As I walked through my yard this weekend I noticed these beautiful signs of the season:
With a little help of some weed & feed, and Mother Nature assisting in the water department, the grass has come back to life.
And, the chive plants are in full bloom. This particular chive plant has been totally neglected, yet, look how full and colorful those blossoms are.
(If you look to the left you can also see my yellow onions coming up along the chain link fence).
My very favorite thing about spring, though, is that it becomes time to get the vegetable garden going.
I learned my love for vegetable gardening from my late grandfather. Several summers ago, unable physically to tend a large-scale (or maybe any size) garden, he talked me into planting a 2000 square foot plot. We planted 980 square feet of the property (the rest of the space was for walking paths around the various rows of plants) and it was quite a project. Lots of sunburns, bug bites, dirt stuck to sweat, and veggies coming out of our ears! That same summer I also learned the art of putting up veggies for use throughout the winter months. It was quite an experience, one I doubt I’ll re-create for myself, but the time I got to spend bonding with my grandparents was priceless. My only real regret is that there aren’t pictures of this venture.
The first summer in Therapy House (if you missed it, you can read about TH here), I had much success with this, smaller-scale, garden:
Unfortunately, the following year was not as successful as a result of two storms containing this:
As it turns out, large size hail does not play well with plants. The garden had to be planted 3 different times that summer which meant a very late start for harvesting the bounty, as well as a very short growing season.
On a mission to have a more successful garden the following year, my super handy BF built me this:
Not only does this bad boy allow me to extend the growing season, but it keeps the hail off my plants. Three hail storms last summer, including a late one in August, and I was one of the only people in town with plump, red, delicious tomatoes (and green beans, and peppers, and lettuce, and spinach, and…).
Garden 2012 is well under way, in fact, one of the tomato plants has flowered already. Yay!
I’ve mastered the art of canned tomatoes, and tomato juice. This year I’d like to learn how to can up some variations of pasta sauce (marinara, spicy red bell pepper spaghetti sauce, etc.). Anyone have suggestions where I can find some tips and pointers on this one??
Hope you are all enjoying the colors of spring-