The garden is in! For many of you the gardening season may have started a while ago, but for us here in the midwest it is just beginning to roll. I am the designated weeder at our house and so every year Tony tries to get creative in how to make it as easy as possible for me. This year, with a baby due in mid-July, he is afraid that more responsibility for the garden may fall to him, so weed control is at an even higher priority. Last year we tried a black paper-like material over the entire garden to control the weeds, but sunlight penetrated the paper and the weeds just grew up under it. It was a terrible failure. This year Tony decided to go with black plastic. I have some concerns about the plants getting enough oxygen…maybe that is stupid…time will tell.
Our garden runs the length of our backyard–about 4″ wide by 50″ long. I always want a bigger garden in the spring, but by the end of summer it seems about right.
The set-up this year is a soaker hose under the black plastic with mulch set out as walking paths and around each plant where we cut the plastic for the plants. Lets hope we have defeated most of the pesky weeds!
Because we have somewhat limited space, I try to think economically. What do I buy at the store that I can grow myself? What do I cook with the most? I have been making my own tomato sauce for the last few years, so that is my biggest target. We just ran out of sauce so I am a little short on making it for the whole year. (Homemade pizza sauce, spaghetti, and tomato soup are what use it up through the year.) Solution=more tomatoes planted this year. We also were not able to do any salsa last year, so we also planned for that.
Thus, 16 tomato plants, banana peppers, red bells, chili peppers, tomatillo peppers, onions, and well…green beans. I still have pickles from last year that I think will last us another year, so I am not concerned about cucumbers. If I had the space I would but… I would also do squash… and strawberries…and an entire herb garden…maybe some artichokes and brocolli…oh rats, I want more space. Someday I am going to live on a farm!
Let’s hope this growing season is a good one! Your food can’t get much more local than your backyard!