Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Summer Veggie Garden!

We now take a break from our regularly scheduled series, "Utah Vacation" to bring you the first episode in an exciting new series entitled "A Summer Veggie Garden". Join our cast, the Harris Family, as they dig, weed, plant, water, and nurture their plot! Will they succeed? Will the weather cooperate? Will the vegetable starts be able to withstand the rigors of the northwest weather swings? Stay tuned to find out! You won't want to miss out on this glorious adventure. If all things go according to plan, the Harris' should be enjoying tomatoes, zucchini, crookneck squash, bell peppers, and basil in the coming months. And be sure to follow along as they grow their own Halloween pumpkin! The adventures abound in "A Summer Veggie Garden"!

Seriously... I always want to plant veggies. The first summer I did it, we had GREAT success! I had a ton of veggies come up. The following summer WOULD have been more successful had I not had toddlers who picked every tomato when they were green and marble-sized. After that summer, I opted to wait until they were older. That day I believe has finally come! The boys have been very excited about putting this garden together. We had to be selective about what we planted because we only have a very small area that gets full sun every day. We chose tomatoes (one Early Girl and one Roma), two zucchinis, one crookneck squash, one bell pepper, and one sweet basil plant. I also thought it would be fun to try and grow a pumpkin as well. I really hope it all turns out.

I wanted to get these in the ground a few weeks ago, but we kept on having frosty nights and I was too afraid all the hard work would be for naught. I finally decided to wait until we returned from Utah. We got back on Saturday. On Monday, the kids and I headed over to Home Depot to pick out some starts. It's too late to do seedlings, in my opinion. Besides that, I'm too much of a chicken to do seedlings. I'm afraid they won't germinate appropriately and I will have wasted time. Perhaps I'll tackle that next season! We bought our starts, some organic fertilizer, and a couple of tomato cages.

We went out in the afternoon and started weeding. What a mess! There were a TON of weeds growing in the patch because we haven't done anything with it for so long. The boys joined me. I got out the "Claw" tool and they go their shovels and we went to town. I was amazed at how many weeds came out of that patch. Mike joined us when he got home from work. We incorporated our family home evening with this event. We discussed the meaning of "stewardship" as well as President Kimball's advice to "plant a garden". Our song was "When We're Helping". We weeded and weeded... and Mike rototilled the whole patch. Then he dug out a mote in the back where we planted a row of mammoth sunflowers (they are said to reach up to 10ft in height!) We watered down the entire patch and let it sit over night to soak up a good amount of water.

On Tuesday, it rained ALL day so we left it alone. Yesterday afternoon (Wednesday), we went outside and planted everything. The boys helped me drop sunflower seeds into the ground and then we covered them. Next we dug all our holes and dropped our peat pot starts into the ground and got down on hands and knees and filled in the holes and patted down the dirt. It was fun! After we did that, we watered and fertilized the whole thing really well and put the cages over the tomato plants. I'm SO happy that we got this done! And it's not quite mid-May so we should have a nice little harvest here in a few months. I plan on taking pictures along the way, much the way I am keeping track of our new cherry tree. It should be fun to see the growth, especially with the pumpkin!

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of "A Summer Veggie Garden"!

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