“All I can say is that my life is pretty plain, I like watchin’ the puddles gather rain…”-Shannon Hoon, Blind Melon
While the late great Shannon Hoon may have liked to watch the rain, I think that most of us here in Kentucky along with the majority of the Southeast would agree that “No Rain” would be a good thing(for a while anyways). Unfortunately, I hear that we are in for some more storms in the coming week.
I guess that I should take a moment to introduce myself as I have been a bit of a hermit. I am Sarah and I just finished Nursing School (the cause for being a hermit). Jeremy and I have been married for almost 3 years and have lived in Lexington, KY for nearly two years. Before we moved to Lexington, we lived in Berea, KY and had absolutely no room for anything. Fortunately, Jeremy’s parents were gracious enough to let us plant some vegetables in their gardens which were in Jackson County, KY. Unfortunately, it was very hard to care for them due to the hour long drive one way to get to Jackson Co. This is what ultimately drove us to figuring out how to best grow our own vegetables without them being an hour away. Luckily our apartment/duplex in Lexington has a decent sized backyard and a very lenient landlord, who pretty much told us as long as we knocked the dirt back down so grass would eventually grow again he was okay with our plans to create raised beds. Anyways, Jeremy and I both look forward to the warmer seasons not only for our gardening, but camping, photography, etc. We absolutely love having access to fresh vegetables, but growing up in the boonies makes that part of your life. As a child, we always had at least 1 garden during the summer and most often had 3 different garden sites. Unfortunately that is a bit more difficult when considering the amount of space we have living in Lexington. We have made the most out of what we currently have to work with, all the while still allowing for room so that the dogs can run and play outside.
One really neat thing about Lexington is that there are many opportunities throughout the week to attend the Lexington Farmer’s Market. There are also many places such as Good Foods Co-op, Whole Foods, and the Kentucky Proud Farmer’s Market that allow consumers to acquire a variety of organic foods. Still this is quite costly, and growing your own is honestly the best option. Not only are you able to grow what you will mostly use, but also you are able to care for them and know exactly what goes into them. You can determine if you want completely organic vegetables, whether or not you want to use pesticides or natural pest control methods. There is a level of freedom and appreciation that I feel comes with growing your own vegetables.
Like Mike said in his earlier posts, and I am sure as most of you know, the weather in the Southeast has been somewhat out of control lately. Our raised beds need some intensive TLC. Due to all of the rain and the lack of opportunity to tend to them, they are overgrown and all of the soil that we had originally tilled up is yet again packed down.
Last summer we built 4 raised beds that are 4′ x 8′. They are very similar to those that Mike previously posted, but we had to buy the wood we used in them. We filled them with top soil from a local gardening center. It was a lot of hard work, but they worked very well for us last summer. This summer we will only have to maintain them instead of fill them and all of the very strenuous tasks that it entailed to get them into order last summer. I know Jeremy mentioned in his previous posts that we had planted some tomatoes, carrots, onions, and lettuce. I also filled up some peat pots that came in a very convenient herb kit from Lowe’s. These herbs are almost ready to be transplanted into the ground with the oregano that is growing like crazy from last year. Oregano is one of my favorite herbs to grow. There is nothing else that makes tomato sauce into the best pizza or pasta sauce as fresh oregano.
So the herbs we will have are:
I am also contemplating adding some more herbs to that mix, but I am unsure as to what those will be yet.
If the weather this coming weekend is decent, we plan to get three more tomato plants from our preferred local greenhouse. We are also going to get a new pepper plant or two, as you can see from the picture that our oh so adorable dogs decided to prematurely eat the pepper plant we already had. We will most likely add potatoes to the corners of the bed that currently has tomatoes. Unfortunately, there was one night last week when it frosted and we hadn’t covered our tomato plants. Luckily, they appear to be okay. So we will have to keep an eye on that, even though we assumed it was far too late in the season for frost to be falling. I guess that’s what we get for assuming!
So overall we plan to end up with approximately:
6 Health Kick (roma variety) tomato plants
4 golden potato plants
2 strawberry plants
2 rows of green leaf lettuce, onions, and carrots. (we currently have only one of each row planted and will add the second when we get a chance to plant things again.)
2 pepper plants (one bell pepper variety and most likely some warmer pepper)
Hopefully, we will have more to post in the near future. We are both itching to get outside and work on our gardens.