Contain Yourself

It’s Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, at least around here. Haven’t had much time for thoughts of summer, really. As I observed to my friend Ailsa, this has been budget season for me  and nearly everything about it has sucked. Global economic downturn, financial meltdown, collapse of the housing and credit bubbles, all of these have come home to roost in the budget I submitted to the town council two months ago. And I hate it.

Despite the budgetary and political frustrations at work I cannot deny that it is the end of May. Even though summer doesn’t “officially” begin until the latter half of June we have to get started quickly in northern New England. Climate change notwithstanding, we still have a fairly short warm season and you have to make the most of it before it’s time to fire up the wood stove again.

A number of years ago this weekend we allowed our ambitions to overcome our senses and we planted a vegetable garden. It was small, no more than seven hundred or eight hundred square feet (that’s 20′ x 35′ or 20′ x 40′ for those of you doing the math), and we got a fair amount out of it, but we have never done it again. In fact, I’ve even stopped mowing around where the garden was for that one year, some eleven or so years ago, as a way of pretending it never happened.  Still, we have wanted to do some amount of gardening, though the thought of tilling, weeding, watering, weeding, tending, weeding, and…. did I mention weeding? has kept us from it.

Today our youngest and I spent some time looking for planters, plants, soil, etc. to try gardening on a smaller scale – our own version of container gardening. Earlier this year she started some green bean seeds and we have a couple of decent plants. In addition, I bought some varied lettuce, radish, and cucumber seeds – most of a garden salad, I suppose –  on a whim last week, and we picked out a couple of nice tomato plants today. We spend part of the afternoon filling containers with peat moss and garden soil, plants or seeds, and watering. Time will tell whether we get any food out of it, but I think we will get something worthwhile regardless.

I’ll keep you posted.

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3 thoughts on “Contain Yourself

  1. By the middle of last week there were tiny green leaves in the containers where we planted lettuce and radishes. Now they are well sprouted and will soon need thinning. The cucumbers are up and there are blossoms on our two tomato plants.

    So far, so good.

  2. It appears that the containers we bought (about 18 inches square) are too small to really support the number of seeds/plants in them. The radishes, lettuces, and cucumbers have come up, but even with some thinning they seem stunted. A few of the radishes have flowered, telling me there’s not much going on in the root department (as has pulling a couple up here and there – so far we have seen radishes no larger than a small marble).

    Our cucumbers have blossoms but the plants are very small. I may have to sacrifice another two or three, though it may be too late for the remaining plants to grow appreciably.

    The tomatoes have blossomed and we have eight or ten small green fruit. This particular variety produces tomatoes 2-3 inches in diameter; so, with only one plant per pot, they seem to be doing better.

    This was an experiment; maybe next year we’ll reduce the number of plants, use larger containers, or put together a raised bed (or just go to the supermarket or farmer’s market like nearly everyone else).

  3. Pingback: Something to Show for It « Rummaging About

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