Monday, April 22, 2013

Edible gardening

Cabbage
I've tried my hand at vegetable gardening before, and have had some success. A cayenne pepper plant we grew two years ago was a particularly excellent one. But for the first 6 years of our marriage, we always lived in apartments, meaning serious gardening was never really an option for us. All of our attempts, including the pepper plant were in containers outside of our apartment. Container gardening is great for small spaces and usually works well, provided the plants are taken care of properly.


Now that we have a house, our ability to grow a garden has seriously expanded. One of the first projects I undertook at the new house last summer was to build a proper garden box, complete with a fence to keep destructive little feet from stomping the plants into oblivion. The freedom with a large garden plot is enormous. It's so easy to spontaneously decide to add a new plant, for example, whereas with a container, that required much more prep work.




This year our garden is full of all kinds of plants, and we've even planted others in areas around the yard. We've already harvested a bumper crop of romaine lettuce, and are currently growing beets, green beans, mint, rosemary, basil, tomatoes, sweet peppers, strawberries, blueberries, cabbage, sunflowers, and green onions. I just planted cantaloupe on the side of the house...that one is an experiment, we'll see how it fares. I also just bought a fig bush, which can grow up to 10 feet tall...that one will probably go on the side of the house, too.

Fig bush
In addition, we already have two orange trees in the yard, plus the tiny peach tree and lemon tree we brought from containers at the apartment. So our yard is now brimming with edible plants, from cabbage to cantaloupe. Some of these are long-lasting bushes or trees that will be in the same spot for years, while others are seasonal and will be replaced with something else in the fall.

Sweet peppers
I decided that I want as many edible plants around our house as possible. When it comes time to re-landscape the front yard, I want the ornamental plants we chose to be things like pineapples or date palms instead of non-fruiting ornamental ones. Edible plants are just too much fun to not have.

I'll post updates on some of the plants as the season progresses. For now, here are some more pictures:

Green beans

Tomatoes

Blueberry bush

Sunflower

Cantaloupe