10 July 2015

developing a green thumb




They say there is nothing more therapeutic than gardening, and I have to say I agree. If you're every feeling stressed or upset or just generally out of whack, I highly suggest weeding. There is nothing more satisfying that tearing out plants by the roots. Bonus points if you're able to pull out one with a large stubborn tap root. 

The only time I would garden would be when my mother would force me to and I would half-heartedly move pots around or dig holes then stop after half an hour. Yet recently I've been inspired to grow my own food myself (mostly for the prospect of carrots, let's be honest). I'm a total advocate for home gardens, I thinks not only a great skill to have but you are in control of what you want to grow, weather permitting. 

I'm lucky enough to have room in our backyard to for my own little garden plot! So far I have around 5 small rows of lettuces, pak choi, and kale. They're absolutely adorable at the moment, my little seedling babies, and I can't wait till they're fully grown. Now I've expanded my bed to a small raised area which will be used for carrots but since the soil isn't warm enough yet I decided to plant radishes. Not only are they crispy and wonderful on salads but they have a growth life of 20-25 days. That's nothing! This means I'll be enjoying them by mid June! Can you tell I'm excited??

I'm extremely lucky to have a mother, who is a total green thumb, that can answer all my growing questions and who has an entire library gardening books that I can reference. If you're new to gardening or want to start growing your own food, here are a few things I have learned so far: 
  • Fence the beds with wire or some other mesh if needed. Garden beds are very attractive litter boxes for cats. I've learned that the hard way. 
  • If you don't have enough space, you can use a plastic container. Salad mixes usually come in them that you can easily reuse. Just fill it with some potting soil and seed it! Be careful how much you plant though, you don't want it to become too crowded. I would say 3 seeds per row in a 9''x5''x4'' container. 
  • Be patient. You don't want to pick them too early. I know they look delicious and adorable but the flavour strengthens as they grow!
  • Grow what you want. There is nothing more boring than waiting and watching something grow that you aren't interested in. Which leads me to my last point...
  • Use heirloom varieties. There is a lot of information out there on heirloom varieties of plants that is easily accessible. The benefits of these particular seeds is that the final plant will be something beautiful and unique ( have you seen those striped tomatoes??) instead of manufactured. It also shows support against the monoculture seed and crop producers. Always a plus. 
Have you been cultivating a green thumb too? Succulents are always and perfectly acceptable.



2 comments:

  1. Love this! I feel like the older I've gotten the more i've come to respect the art of gardening. I used to think it was such a boring, old person thing to do. But since both my parents obsessively garden during summer i've come to appreciate being able to run out to the garden to grab a few green if need be! :) Love to see them when they've grown.

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    1. Yes, exactly! Plus it's so satisfying being about to taste and enjoy veggies you grew yourself. Sadly, my radishes didn't make it; the weather has been way too hot for them to form bulbs. I'll try planting them again in the fall, and with lots more kale!

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