Garden Bliss

English: Easter egg radishes, just harvested

 radishes, just harvested (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the weekend I bought a package of carrot seeds and a package of radish seeds. The garden has been tilled and is almost ready to plant. This year is the year we will take excellent care of our garden. We will pull the weeds as soon as they show up, nurture the carrots, stake the tomatoes, make wonderful salads from the lettuce, freeze some of the tomatoes, enjoy the different variety of peppers I know my son will want to plant, and….

There is a lot of satisfaction in having a garden but I have to take it up a notch and actually take care of the garden after it is planted. I love it when we first plant it—the neat rows staked out in fairly straight lines; the packets on little wooden stakes so we know what we planted where; the healthy little plants so lovingly planted and watered. But I cannot stop there—I have to keep up the momentum, even during those hot and humid summer days in July and August.

The radishes that I bought are called Scarlet Globe—doesn’t that sound like an intriguing character name for a short story or novel? They only take 20-25 days to grow to maturity, so they can be planted several times if the whim hits, and according to the instructions they “may be sown again when weather cools for a fall crop”. Now how cool is that? The package calls this variety a “time honoured favourite”. Once grown they will be olive shaped and about one inch in circumference. Their “dazzling scarlet red skins give way to crisp and crunchy white centres”.

I don’t know about you, but I have never really taken the time to actually read the instructions and descriptions on these little packets of seeds before. They are really quite entertaining besides being instructive. The package says that the variety I purchased will have a delicate flavour (which means pick them before they get woody and hot). If I plant the seeds correctly, I am supposed to end up with a 16’ row—but just to be contrary—I think I will plant two 8’ rows—I am such a rebel. Apparently, should I be up to it, I can make several plantings of these little scarlet and white wonders—the package suggests 10 days apart until the weather becomes warm (which means I better get going here—as it is going to be warm again mid-week). And do you know what else? Radishes like company. “Growing leaf lettuce with radishes will make them more tender.” Who knew?

I love growing leaf lettuce—it is the gift that seems to keep on giving all summer. And I use an old recipe I remember my mom using as a dressing—it involves milk and sugar and vinegar—that is it—and it dresses the leaves just right—giving it some tang and sweetness. It is one of those recipes that you just sort of do without measuring.

So, now if you have not had enough excitement for one day, I am going to reveal some secrets of the carrot—did you know you could freeze and can them? I did not know that—I guess because of all the things my mom froze and canned, carrots were not among them. She canned pickles and beets, plums and peaches, tomatoes (with onions and peppers) but never carrots. I do not can, as it seems to take in a lot of boiling and dealing with hot things—and I am dangerous enough in the kitchen. My thumb is now just healing from an infection I got from a couple of cuts I acquired while producing my famous gourmet (not) meals.

So, the carrots take 65-80 days, which means I best be getting them in the ground pronto. And they are also quite

Carrots of many colors.

Carrots of many colors. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

social, even more so than the radish. They liked to be planted near beans, peas, tomatoes, onions and leeks. Alrighty then—will do. The carrots we will be planting are Red Cored Danvers, and for best flavour we are supposed to harvest them when their roots are not more than 2” in diameter. Also—I must make note: “uniform soil moisture is critical.” These instructions are a little demanding for my taste—but then again, I am not much of a gardener.

What else will I be growing (not really me, more my eldest son—but I help): tomatoes for sure—probably some cherry, but most definitely the kind you slice and add a little salt and pepper to or a dash of balsamic; leaf lettuce to keep my radishes happy and tender; some onions and the aforementioned tomatoes to keep the carrots’ social life booming; peppers—many of the hot variety as that is what my son loves; maybe peas—though we did not have much luck the one year we tried to grow them. So, wish me luck and perseverance. It is time to get my nails dirty (cause I always forget to put my gloves on.)

What will be in your garden of bliss?

Published in: on May 13, 2013 at 5:22 pm  Comments (55)  
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