Sunday, May 21, 2017

Victory is eating what you grow

For me, one of the most gratifying things about gardening is eating what I grow. It's the end of the life cycle of the plant. The cycle starts when I first start planning in the winter and the seeds get planted in trays and placed in the sunniest windows or started outside directly in my raised bed. I wait with anticipation - will the seeds sprout?

Phew, we have a sprout! Major victory.

Lettuce, kale, radishes and arugula.
Now how do I keep this little thing alive for weeks until it can be put outside. We had a rollercoaster spring here in D.C. with wild swings in temperature and then it snowed really late. It is so tempting to put your vegetables in the ground when it's in the 70s in March. Be strong, don't do it!

I much prefer direct sowing seeds because I have more success and I am not turning my house upside down. When I start seeds indoors, I am creating a climate that does not exist in my house and it's kind of a pain. (Is this window sunny enough? Why am I moving these trays all around the house all day, following the winter sun?)

I REALLY wanted to try winter sowing this year, but did not start any trays to put outside because of the really warm winter and spring we had. I was afraid the seeds would sprout really early and not survice or they would sprout and then freeze when the temperature dropped again.

I took some chances with the spring garden knowing that these are tough little plants and can withstand some cooler weather. Yesterday I picked a bunch of lettuce, arugula and kale and two teeny radishes that were all started outside. And today I made scrambled  eggs and added some of these fantastic spicy lettuce greens (Burpee mesclun spicy mix) that I chopped up. Delish! And this week, my lunch salad will feature the kale, lettuce and arugula. The greens stay fresh for many days, too, because they are picked fresh from my backyard.

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