while waiting for the earth to thaw

garden_planning1It’s snowing; we’ve decided to stay in our apartment for another year; I have multiple papers to write; I ate mac & cheese for dinner; I’m having stale bread & soup for lunch. So. I’m massive amounts of a Negative Nancy today. Let’s go back in time a few days & talk about the fun things…

On Sunday night, I finally got a bit of pep back in my step.I baked two kinds of bread & made my first real meal in… weeks maybe? We roasted loads of root vegetables & fried up tempeh in herbs & olive oil for a filling, affordable winter meal. (Did I mention I’d gone strictly vegetarian again for Lent?)

garden_planning2While I sipped a beer & enjoyed my veggies (yes, even the beets–I’m learning), I planned our summer garden. I pulled out the seeds we’ve collected, the weather charts, the notes from last year (like, YOU ONLY NEED TWO TOMATO PLANTS, STUPID!) & got a 30-day trail of GrowVeg. This isn’t an endorsement or anything, but playing around on that site is loads of fun for people totally dorky about schedules & plants.

Working with seeds we have on hand & varieties we think we’ll be able to buy at the co-op again this year, and organizing the plot to give each plant more room, this is what we came up with:

garden_planning3Yes, that’s celeriac. No, I have no real reason for growing it–okay, other than loving the seen in Emma, in which two folks proclaim their love of celery root (there’s even a song dedicated to the scene) & a fondness for céléri rémoulade.

Joe’s most excited about expanding our hot pepper variety. I’m most excited about peas. You may remember that last year, we tried to train a few pea sprouts up the railing outside our apartment. It half worked, and one afternoon we had a snack of peas. Then it was over. I’m not sure what we’ll plant outside the apartment this year, but I am making us plant loads of sugar snap peas. We’ll need a simple trellis, but it seems like you can easily throw that together. At least, that’s what Internet says.

It’s exciting to think what all we’ve learned over the past year. We know not to leave the soil bare–to prevent erosion, water evaporation & nutrient depletion. We know to water in the morning. We know to trim the suckers off of the tomato plant, so that it produces more fruit without drooping to the ground & rotting. We know about squash bugs–hence no squash this year–and flea beetles. We know that tomato plants need big cages. We know we need to be better with our garden journal this year.

We know our tiny plot of land in the community garden, where winter rye is holding the earth through the winter. Unfortunately, that means we’ll need to transplant our peas–which will seriously limit the amount we put out there. (Rye is allelopathic, meaning it stops seeds from germinating in the soil.) Peas hate being transplanted, so I’ll be relying on these biodegradable pots to avoid the peas ever really feeling the shock. We’ll see what happens.

How’s your garden planning coming along?


About meganbetz

human geography PhD Student at Indiana University; wife, reader, writer, baker, gardener
This entry was posted in being married and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to while waiting for the earth to thaw

  1. lauren says:

    Thank you darling, I am now spending all of my free time using GrowVeg to plan out mine. And I just requested my first 3 seed catalogs ever. 😀

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