Saturday, February 1, 2014

Who Am I Kidding?

I want to grow vegetables this year.

There is no open sunny spot big enough for a true vegetable garden, but I could add some edibles mixed into the existing borders, or in pots.

The best spot is the Blueberry Garden, which is in open sun, and the small trees there are not big enough yet to shade things. Nothing is very big, so there is room to stuff some vegetables in.

Or near the patio, around the birdbath. And containers work for many things.

The things I might like to grow:

In the 26 inch bowl
Lettuces in spring, which I have done before.
Then replace them with fast growing radishes after the lettuce is done, and add the usual herbs.

Around the birdbath, or in the Blueberry border 
Basil, which I have grown in pots before, but I would put several in the ground this year and give them plenty of room to spread out. You need a lot for pesto.

Could I fit in green beans or wax beans? And how I would love some early peas. Would there be enough room?

In containers spread around the gravel garden
Fingerling potatoes

I'd like to try tomatillos, but they get ungainly like tomatoes and they need tall cages. And I don't know if one or two plants would give me enough to experiment with recipes. But I might try. I have the cages from my ill-fated experiment protecting sunflower seedlings a couple years ago.

For Christmas Tom gave us Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison. Wow.

It is a detailed resource for growing absolutely every kind of vegetable, with inventive recipes and pictures of how to cook them. Gorgeous book, it has inspired me to try growing some food.

Who am I kidding, though? 

This winter I have dreamed and pored over this book endlessly, but the reality is I could only grow vegetables with an enormous fence sunk into the ground a foot, and at least 9 feet high. Or tightly enclosed cages around each plant. The deer and chipmunks and rabbits would quickly and easily overtake any food crops I planted, however artfully placed in the borders or nicely potted up.

I did well with the blueberries and strawberries last year. My bowl on the deck was nice for lettuce and herbs. Maybe a pot of carrots and one of potatoes could be protected enough? Would that satisfy this lust for vegetables in my garden?