Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Importance of Gardening

I didn't have a vegetable garden last year or this past winter. The last time I am sure that I had this garden planted was summer of 2009. I am so happy that I planted my veggies this year! I love all of my gardens, but I think this one brings me the most joy, satisfaction and tangible rewards. Here is the vegetable patch less than a month ago.

Gardening, and especially growing vegetables is in my blood. Both sets of grandparents grew veggie gardens, but my maternal grandfather Pawpaw was the best at it. He grew everything from seed, I believe, and saved seeds from his crops. I can vividly picture his little jars of hand labeled seeds and his tomato seedlings growing outside under the covered patio in their Houston backyard. His tomato plants got so big that they were caged with sections of chain link fence! He grew cucumbers, onions, blackberries, pomegranates, tomatoes, okra, and I'm sure there was much more that I'm forgetting. He was always outside in his garden or garage no matter how hot and humid it got, and it did get hot and humid. I can understand why. Though I don't spend too much time out in this 100+ degree heat, I do feel calm and relaxed in my garden. I love to check on the progress of my rapidly growing plants and vegetables. I feel a great deal of pride and joy watching my babies grow. In this heat, that we will no doubt suffer under for the next two months, I am so glad that I have a drip system for my vegetable garden. We all have to stay hydrated, plants and people alike!

Here are some of my babies, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

A basil seedling
Baby Basil

The first tomato

Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes

Zucchini, which still hasn't produced. I never have luck with squash, always get squash vine borers, which this plant had but I killed. The plant is thriving but the female flowers don't open, so they just fall off and die.
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My first successes with cucumbers. They are really good!
I believe the variety is called Tender Green.
I couldn't resist picking the first baby cucumber!

First success with Eggplant as well! This guy is growing so fast. I noticed it at the end of last week, it was just barely swelling up. By Saturday I could see the purple, and it has grown even more since then.

First time to have success with Bell Pepper as well!

Tomato blossoms

Watermelon seedlings

Cucumber flowers

And Zinnias, always have to have Zinnias!

I'm also growing Okra, and Poblano and Serrano Peppers.

I hope I haven't bored you with my enthusiasm for my garden. I know now that I must have one each year. Luckily we can grow veggies year round here, so I am already plotting my fall/winter garden. I am also determined to start my own seeds next spring (and maybe this fall). Though I don't have much invested in plants here, maybe $15, I could get a jump start on the season as well as have more varieties to chose from.

I grow vegetables because:
I am carrying on a family tradition and it's in my blood.
It is good for my health, both the veggies and the stress reduction of being in the garden.
It brings me great satisfaction and joy.


Elizabeth & Shannon said...

the cucumber and peppers are so cute, I wonder if they grow in colder climates.

Ashley said...

Elizabeth, I have no idea. I have only ever gardened here in Texas. We grow lots of winter veggies, which may like your summers: spinach, kale, lettuce, chard, beets, carrots, onions, garlic, broccoli, peas, etc.

I think for these hot weather plants it has something to do with day length and growing season, or the number of days above certain temps.

elizabethrosasjewelry said...

that's a great list for "winter" I think I can handle that. thanks