Why buy produce when you can grow your own?

Moments ago I harvested the first of the mixed baby lettuces and spinach that I sowed back in April. Here it is washed, drained and ready to go – just like the bagged greens at the grocery store, only a lot less expensive:

Okay, so as I was snipping the spinach, for a moment I worried I’d cut the leaves off my radishes by mistake. I didn’t. (Hey, I never claimed to be a gardener!)

Each summer I try to grow a few more things than the year before, but it’s not always easy with a giant black walnut tree in the yard. The shade isn’t the real problem. Juglone is. It’s a toxin produced by black walnut trees that effects a lot of plants. That’s why I’ve relegated my “crops” to containers and two small wedges of soil that get plenty of sun and are away from the black walnut’s canopy.

Last year I mentioned my dilemma to a neighbor who is a prolific gardener. You know, the type who starts his own plants from seed. The other day he called and said he had a tomato variety called Al Kuffa, that does very well in containers. By noon he’d dropped off three seedlings for me.

What a lovely gift!

Stay tuned to see how well the tomatoes do. I might plant one in one of the wedges and two in pots. Or vice versa. I’ll figure that out over the weekend. After that I’ll just have to wait for them to grow and ripen.

What’s your garden growing this year?

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About Paula Hendrickson

I'm a full-time freelance writer with an addiction to yarn, cooking and all kinds of crafty things. I come from a long line of creative and entrepreneurial types on both sides of the family, making creativity almost like competitive pursuit.

Posted on May 11, 2012, in food, gardening, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I JUST put in the peas, spinach, and bok choy. I’ve got three varieties of tomatoes coming up, which will be in containers, cucumbers, one pumpkin, zucchini, and eggplants. I always have a lot of herbs in the garden, but rarely grow them from seed. I’ve also got strawberries. I don’t think the cherries and the raspberries will bear fruit this year, but I’m patient enough to make the investment!

    The salad greens are growing like crazy, as are the lettuce. The radishes, which never came up last year, somehow reseeded themselves, so I may have two kinds of radishes this year.

    I love the adventure of it.

    • Paula Hendrickson

      Your garden sounds great, Devon! Last year I planted my peas too late and the summer heat damaged them, so this year I planted them early. Spotted my first blossoms yesterday!

      Have you tried growing cucumbers on a trellis? I’d like to try that this year, if I can find the right spot.

      I had better luck planting basil from seed (in a pot) than I had with dill, parsley or cilantro.

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