So I realized today I hadn’t yet written anything about growing a garden this year. Since I usually include at least one entry devoted to gardening during the summer months, I thought now would be the perfect time to write this year’s.
Like usual, I have a fairly large plot of land dug up in my backyard to grow vegetables in. I don’t have the exact dimensions of my garden at all – mainly because I’ve gotten to where I am now by adding on a little bit every year for the last 4 years. What I do know, however, is that my plot is somewhere in the greater than 100 square feet category.
Most of the vegetables I have should have already produced their first batch of edible goodies by the time I leave for Grand Forks around August 20th. This year will be unique, however, in that I will not be at home for the final part of the growing season, from the last week of August to the entire month of September.
Anyway, here’s a list of what I’m growing this year. I’m even going to list everything in alphabetical order, as well as give the German equivalent. Why? I don’t really know, but I suppose it’s always good to be exposed to another language every once and awhile.
- Beans (Bohnen) – Fresh green beans from the garden always taste the best, plus they’re pretty easy to grow, as long as any potentially damaging diseases or insects are controlled before they get to be a large problem. I’m growing the Green Bush Snap Tenderpod beans from seeds I ordered from Burpee earlier this spring.
- Carrots (Karotten) – Although I rarely eat store-bought carrots (I’ve never really liked their taste), I do enjoy carrots straight from the garden. Carrots that have just been pulled out of the ground tend to have a much higher sugar content and, all in all, taste better than anything that can be bought in the store. Last year I was able to grow more carrots than I knew what to do with, despite having a minor problem with a gopher infestation. I hope I have a good amount of carrots again this year, and that the rabbits that seem to have sprung up around my neighborhood these last few weeks do not have a chance to feast on my carrots before I do. I’m growing the Sweet Treat Hybrid carrots from seeds I ordered from Burpee earlier this spring.
- Cauliflower (Blumenkohl) – I’ve grown cauliflower successfully before, so I thought I may as well try again this year. I really wanted to grow cauliflower’s close cousin, broccoli, but I couldn’t find any stores in the area this year carrying broccoli plants. I probably could have grown some plants from seed, but I didn’t really feel like doing so after I saw one of the area flower/vegetable retailers selling 4-packs of cauliflower. I hope I get some edible cauliflower, but right now, the chances of that aren’t looking too good. Those aforementioned rabbits really find the leaves of the cauliflower plant tasty, and they’ve managed to injure my 4 plants. I’ve since put up fencing and netting to keep rabbits and other animals out of my garden, but I don’t know if the damage they caused to the cauliflower is going to be repairable.
- Corn (Mais) – Sweet corn is a new vegetable for me. I’ve sort of wanted to grow it for the last few years, but I never had much room in my garden to do so due to a couple of reasons. The first was that I just didn’t have that large of a garden to start with, and the other being that I was busy growing pumpkin – another vegetable that requires a lot of space to grow. This year, however, I decided that I would grow some sweet corn in lieu of pumpkin. I’m hoping I’ll get some delicious corn from my 4 by 4 row block of about 10 plants per row that I planted. Right now my corn plants are about 6 to 10 inches tall, so it’s going to be interesting to watch them sprout up to a height of 4-5 feet in the next couple of months. I’m growing the Yellow Sugary Enhancer Hybrid Early Choice sweet corn from seeds I ordered from Burpee earlier this spring.
- Cucumber (Gurke) – I just have one cucumber plant this year, which has been my norm for awhile now, since I am not the biggest fan of cucumbers. They are useful in some foods, though, and if I get a few nicely-sized cucumbers out of my plant, I’ll be happy.
- Lettuce (Kopfsalat) – I’ve never grown lettuce before either, but I decided to give it a try this year to see what I come up with. I’ve got my two lettuce plants surrounded by a fence and net, as rabbits – and other creatures – are obviously going to be very attracted to the fresh lettuce once the plants begin growing heads of it.
- Peppers (Pfeffer) – I have seven pepper plants total, down from the total amount I’ve had in previous years. I’ve discovered over the years, however, that I generally end up with far too many of the hot, jalapeño-like peppers than I know what to do with. So, going with that knowledge, I only bought two hot pepper plants this year: one growing some sort of chili pepper and another growing jalapeños. The other five plants are growing your typical bell pepper. I think I have three that will produce “red” bell peppers and two that will produce the oft-seen “green” bell pepper.
- Peppermint (Pfefferminz) – I haven’t grown herbs in awhile, and wouldn’t have had any this year either if I hadn’t been at Menards a few days ago and noticed a table full of vegetables and herbs for 50% off. Everything on the table was marked $1.17 or so to begin with, so getting them at 50% off was an even better deal. Anyway, I saw a nice-looking peppermint plant and decided to pick it up while I had the opportunity. Peppermint was among the varieties of herbs I grew last time I had them, so I know how tasty the flowers and leaves of a peppermint plant can be.
- 9. Zucchini (Zucchini) – This is my primary squash this year, since I’m not growing any pumpkins. Like just about any squash, zucchini is pretty easy to grow because of its resistance to many types of insects and diseases. I’m growing the Sure Thing Hybrid zucchini from seeds I ordered from Burpee earlier this spring.