Wednesday 26 April 2006

how does your garden grow?

I have a habit of embarking on ventures that I end up neglecting or it ends up going horribly wrong. Take my diet and exercise plan, for example. I went to the gym faithfully, kept calorie-rich foods away from my mouth, and even created an Excel spreadsheet with statistics on it for goodness sake. I haven't been to the gym since early December and I managed to polish off the rest of an obscenely rich chocolate cheesecake recently. I'm pretty sure that's a no-no on the GI Diet. So all of this to say, I've decided to grow vegetables this year and I'm really excited about it. You can see where I'm going with this.

I've managed to kill the unkillable plants like mint (twice) and rosemary. I bought three different plants for our front door that were supposed to thrive in full sunlight, and all of them turned into shrivelled brown twigs within weeks. Apparently they needed regular watering or something, the demanding things. This time, I am determined not to let my little seedlings go to veggie heaven (until they are ready for our table, that is). I've bought books - and read them - and have my organic grow bags ready to go. I've diligently watered and tended to my young plants, keeping them safe and warm in the shed near a window until the end of this month. I've sought advice from my sage in-laws who are very good at growing things and keeping them alive. I'm terribly optimistic.

I'm attempting to grow tomatoes ("Gardener's Delight" and "Roma"), courgettes/zucchini, cucumbers, petit pois, potatoes, and garlic. I'm using an assortment of containers and large pots, and grow bags. I made the silly purchase of a globe artichoke plant before reading that they actually take 1 1/2 years to produce edible buds and don't like winters, and chillis which are supposed to be difficult to grow unless we get a very hot summer or I build a greenhouse. I might give strawberries a go in the summer, and it looks like my oregano and chives from last year survived a winter of total neglect. Even the rosemary is looking okay. Go me!

Here's hoping that by the end of the summer, I'm complaining about what the hell I'm going to do with 5lbs of tomatoes.

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