Saturday, March 19, 2011

Put a Little Spring in Your Vegetable Garden

Sometimes life gets so hectic and crazy and challenging that I lose my focus from enjoying the simple things of life. When I find myself in these situations, (many of them out of my control), I have to refocus on the blessings that bring me joy! Joy is in the journey, even with it's disappointments and heartaches. If I wait until situations are perfect, I will miss the sunrises and sunsets, chirping birds, babies laughing, emerging flower buds, long walks, little wet kisses, warm embraces, and most importantly... LOVE! So for now, I'll focus on something that brings me great joy...GARDENING! I am still amazed at the miracle of a tiny seed emerging into a plant that will give me baskets full of delicious fruit and vegetables.

I don't know about you, but every winter I wait with anticipation to plant vegetables in my garden. We have a very short 2-2 1/2 month period of time that we can grow spring vegetables here in Utah before planting our summer crop. I also have limited space in my raised beds, so I thought this year I would plant veggies with a shorter maturity time, so I could rotate my spring veggies for summer ones come mid-May. With the exception of snow peas, (they have a longer maturity time), I planted short season vegetables. I will sow the bed that currently houses the snow peas with delicious carrots the beginning of July. They don't need to be planted till later anyway.

I like to keep a garden journal of my vegetable garden because just when I think I'll be able to remember what I planted in a particular bed, come next year I will have forgotten. I draw out my garden beds on graph paper and record the variety of vegetables I've planted. Another reason I keep records is to remember to rotate my crops so I have less problems with diseases. After the vegetables are harvested, I record my success or failure with a particular plant or variety, so I'll know whether I want to plant the same plant next year or not.

Vegetables I chose this year were 'Neon Lights' Swiss chard, 'Melting Sugar' snow peas, and 'Cherry Belle' radishes. I planted Swiss chard a few years ago but didn't really know how to prepare it, so my family didn't eat it. I vowed to try it again this year and find other methods of preparing it so they would eat it. Besides, isn't it a beautiful vegetable?

Have you priced lettuce in the store these days? It's outrageous! In a couple months (cross my fingers), I'll be able to harvest my own. I planted several varieties. I prefer lettuce with a CRUNCH! That's why I chose an all season romaine mix ('Little Gem', 'Rosalita', 'Craquerelle du Midi', Forellenschluss, and Rouge D'Hiver'). I also planted Baby Romaine, and Bibb.

Okay, it's not time to plant carrots in my garden just yet, but rather than planting my ususal 'Red Nantes' carrots, I thought I would be a little more colorful and creative and plant Kaleidoscope mix and 'Chantenay' varieties along with the old standby, 'Red Nantes'.

As you can see, there is nothing growing in my vegetable garden right now except chives. I planted my seeds and hope to see little sprouts coming up soon. Now if I can just keep those darn stray cats out of my beds! They like to dig around and use them as a litter box. Rrrrrr!

My chives are loving the cool temperatures. They'll be blooming soon. I like their mild onion flavor.

In a few months my garden will be filled in and growing delicious vegetables like these, but until then I'll try to enjoy life even with its bumps in the road. Enjoy the journey! Thank you garden blogger friends for your positive comments and correspondance. It brightens my day!


  1. I like you set up with the cinder blocks. It's fun to plant in the holes.

  2. Lovely post and photos of your veg bed. I have the same problem with cats around our house. Yuck!!

    Thanks for you nice comment on my post also.
    Thanks, Julie

  3. Hi, Ramona!
    What a fun collection of veggies you've chosen! That Swiss Chard looks terrific. As do the rainbow carrots. I wonder if my horsies would eat those?? :))

  4. Liz-The concrete block raised garden beds have been a great investment. They're more permanent so I don't need to worry about replacing them every few years. In order to soften the edges and help with pollination, I plant flowers and herbs in the holes. I think it looks much better!

    Julie-I've really enjoyed your blog and look forward to more interaction with you.

    Kate-I'm pretty sure your horsies would those delicious veggies. I'll keep you posted on how they grow. Have a great day!

  5. Hi Ramona, I LOVE your blog! I am so very happy you stopped by PDG which led me here =) OK, so your veggie garden is soooo inspiring! I think I will adapt some concrete block into my new veg bed design...Love it!! I am really excited to have found your blog and look forward to following your adventures in your "happy place" Cheers...xx

  6. Hi Ramona! Chives are ready to bloom? So early!
    Your vegetable garden will be not only healthy and useful, but oh so pretty with a variety of colors, texture and shapes!
    Love the pictures, especially the last one!

  7. Julia-so happy to have found you on Blotanical. My raised-bed garden is really a space saver and there are so many advantages to having them (rich organic soil, higher yields, less weeds, earlier planting, etc.).

    Tatyana-I've really enjoyed the posts you have done with raised beds and different lay-outs. I'm a visual it is so much more helpful for me to see pictures of the beds and not just a drawing.

  8. Great idea using the cinder blocks. It looks so pretty filled out. Good luck with your spring veggies. I plan to start some lettuce soon but haven't thought much beyond that. I hope I can start getting back in "gardening mode" soon.

  9. Yes, great idea using concrete block as vegetable beds, recycling in this case is very imaginative!