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?

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Published in: on May 13, 2013 at 5:22 pm  Comments (55)  
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  1. My tomatoes came up from last year’s seeds. I have dill but no lettuce but intend to see if it will grow in partial sun. I have 4 vines of Malabar spinach. It is easy to grow and mostly not bothered by any kind of insect. Leaves are very tender. No peppers (except the native ones) since I cannot eat those anymore. I have a few flowering plants but most are shrubs or trees to produce berries for the birds. Your garden sounds fantastic. I really like the photo of the various kinds of carrots.

    • I love all those carrots too–something else we have good luck with is Swiss Chard–it is hardy and prolific! You grow tomatoes from seeds–I am so impressed. I like the idea of growing spinach

      • Well the tomatoes came up where I had thrown rotten ones that I had missed picking. I forgot to mention that I grow Swiss chard too. I have not planted any this year. It is so easy to grow. And keeps on producing new leaves.

        I am very slow with all things this year. The spinach is Malabar and it is a vine. I pinch of a leaf here and there from about 4-5 vines that are growing on the fence. It is quite pretty. See if there is any for sale at the nurseries where you live.

      • I should definitely check it out as I love spinach salad.

  2. I have yet to be bitten by the gardening bug…but I do enjoy the “highness” it creates in my friends. You all get a little nutty– and it is fun to watch.

  3. Have never had much of a vegetable garden….never enough room after I plant perennials, bushes and trees! Love the idea of one though.

    • grow some tomatoes in a container! you are a real gardener–you make every house you own look fabulous

      • 😉

  4. We don’t have much space in our tiny yard, but we have a vertical herb garden that has mint, thyme, and chives. On our balcony, we grow tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, parsley and basil in boxes. We have to keep them on the balcony because we live on a canyon and the varmints will come into our yard and eat them… 😉

    • I should grow more herbs–we have chives–you sound like you have a great combo for salsas etc.

  5. Haha gardening is not my forte but I am glad it brings so much bliss for you 😀

    Cheers
    CCU

    • well — to be honest it is just the initial stages that give me bliss–keeping it up is much more difficult

  6. How nice that you’re ready to get started. That garden lettuce tastes so delicious and it’s blissful to be able to go out there and get some right before dinner. Our garden is still not ready to plant (still too darn cold) but we bought a few seeds the other night.

    • we are supposed to be back up into the 70s and 80s midweek–but we have had a cold snap lately (something I do not mind–but we have not had snow for weeks)

  7. Best laid plans…the dirty nails though, I can always count on! Happy gardening. 🙂

  8. Our garden is a blank canvas just waiting for something to be planted… It will likely be mostly flowers and bushes…and our favourite clematis….and then we do plant a few tomato plants because there is nothing like tomatoes fresh from the vine….Yours’ sounds like such a lovely variety of veggies…Diane

    • I agree with you about the tomatoes–I do not think I would have much of a garden without the urgings of my eldest son though

  9. LouAnn, how fabulous your radishes will be … have you considered growning them with mixed salad leaves? You know, the cut and come again sort? They are the perfect complement to these gorgeous radishes. Good luck with them 🙂

  10. heh-heh, growing, not ‘growning’!!! 😀

  11. Broad beans for me but everything is late going in this year as it is still so cold! Good luck with your growing ventures! 🙂

  12. My hubby plants a vegetable garden each year too, and it’s all tilled and ready to go. However, Mother Nature needs to start cooperating before he can actually plant anything. We have tomato and pepper plants waiting patiently in the garage and many packets of seeds, but the snow we had yesterday doesn’t really put one in the mood to plant :). I can’t wait though because I just love eating veggies fresh out of the garden. If I am sitting outside reading in the summertime, I will run down to the garden, pick some beans and cherry tomatoes, and enjoy them while I’m reading. Yummy!!!

    • and fresh peas–my mom used to grown them successfully as opposed to the disaster we had–love them right out of the garden–it is supposed to warm up here midweek but we have not had snow for weeks

      • Do you know, I actually hate cooked peas with a passion!! Eating them fresh and raw out of the garden is the only way I will eat them :).

      • I am not crazy at all about cooked peas unless they are the tiny ones and not mushy—love the raw ones though–we are so in tune

      • Yes, we are :). My mom used to force feed me peas when I was a kid, and I never got over it LOL.

      • I remember sitting at the table with a lump of cold squash that I had to eat before I left the table–oddly I really like squash now (probably because I put maple syrup or brown sugar and lots of butter in it and whip it up to a smooth consistency).

      • Mmmm, maple syrup and brown sugar make everything good!!

      • if you could pair chocolate with it even better–but even I do not want chocolate in my squash

      • Forget the squash – just eat chocolate 🙂

      • sounds like a plan–why didn’t I think of that?

  13. I’m always so impressed by people who work in gardens and even more so by people who plant edible things. Unfortunately, no one in my family is the least bit garden-inclined so we just let our neighborhood gardener do his job. It’s probably thanks to him that our peach tree has been blooming at all. Do you have any plans for fruit? Although I assume the veggies will keep you busy enough as it is.

    • no fruit in my future except from the many fruit stands in my area–do not be impressed by me–I am a reluctant gardener at best

  14. I don’t have a yard, just a balcony, so I try to grow what I can. This year I’m cheating a bit, I got those Miracle-Gro Growables, where the seeds are already potted, you just have to water them and voila! But I’m rooting two avocado pits and several lemon pips, and they’re all sprouting nicely. I wish I had a garden so that I could grow a bunch of things like you’re doing, though. I’m looking forward to your crop updates!

    • it is a luxury to go outside and find your salad fixings–but if I could only grow one thing it would most definitely be tomatoes

  15. This is a post to save, this us my first year trying radishes and had no idea they liked to be planted with other plants. I also didn’t realize they had to be picked at the right time or will change flavors. Guess I’ll learn real quick how I do with them. Btw, my weeding right now is out of control I hope the rain and cold leave soon so I can attend to them.

    • weeds are the bane of the gardener’s existence–I love radishes and lettuce in a sandwich–so good

  16. I am a grasshopper and a lotus eater… apart from herbs and beans, my tiny garden is all roses and sweet smelling flowers and the ones that bring the butterflies …

  17. That reminds me, I need to plant my lettuce this weekend. When we got back from our trip I was happy to see that our strawberry plants are thriving. Now I need to plant tomatoes as well. Oh and more mint. I love fresh mint in my tea. Come to think of it, I have a busy weekend coming up. Enjoy your harvest.

    • must think about planting mint–my mom had all kinds of strawberry plants–what a treat

  18. I have been planting the garden for the past couple of days so right now I am experiencing garden pain (as in sore all over) rather than garden bliss. I am always anxious about it until the plants start producing. Good luck to you LouAnn.

    • I know garden pain well–seems I start out my mornings with it without even working in the garden! I too am anxious until it starts to produce–there is a lot of work to a good garden!

      • Yes there is. Since we are spending the summer at my husbands’ elderly parents’ home giving them a hand, I decided to plant a large organic garden, which will also involve canning and freezing so they will have a food supply to carry them through the winter. I hope it works. 😉

      • what wonderful people you are–good luck with it all–tell me what you plan on canning and freezing when you get to it–I like to live vicariously through others

      • Will do. 🙂

      • 🙂

  19. I cant help but think that Scarlet Globes sounds like a pole dancer’s name. 🙂 Have fun planting.

  20. […] Garden Bliss (onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com) […]

  21. love the carrots-i have seen them in farmers markets. i will admit though we have a garden we have never found bliss there – i think the voles may have eaten it!

    • that is not good – we had racoons eat all of our corn one year so we have not grown it since


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