We are collecting leaves from the Romaine and Buttercrunch now daily for the base of a number of favorite bowl dishes (fresh greens on bottom, fresh fruit in the middle, warm spiced legumes/grains on top). I must say that fresh lettuce eaten from our yard tastes waaay better than the organic grocery store variety head. Never mind the $3.50 per head we saved in not buying one.
Grocery store sourced organics are pricey.
There’s still another week or more for the centers to tighten up and fill out completely for head harvest, but picking outer leaves without undo bending or reaching is the real bonus of this raised bed on steroids. I am plotting to build another keyhole — perhaps even two — as soon as I come across useful recycled materials.
Watching Lettuce Grow!
With the nearly non-existent winter we’ve had in the Houston area of late, jalapeno pepper and eggplant are now continuing into their second year. It is remarkable to see fruit and flowers at the end of February on nightshades planted in the previous spring!
Purple and Lavender
Some Like It Hot
Speaking of nightshades, three cherry and grape tomato are already in the ground. It’s the earliest I’ve ever planted tomatoes, so they will be carefully protected when the March winds come around (and they will). Three more slicers and a dozen or more cooking variety are waiting patiently on the sideline as the serendipity garden dictates a more permanent home for them. (Like when the keyhole becomes vacant.)
In spring for me — as it is with many other garden-y types — it’s all about tomatoes and cucumbers. I may be popping garden tomatoes into my mouth as soon as early April. Now wouldn’t that be something?
I just flipped the compost pile to create a new lasagna bed for spring planting, as well as to expand out from the garden and locate closer to the keyhole compost basket — which fills quite quickly — for more efficient kitchen waste disposal.
The new plot started with lots of wet cardboard laid down to smother the emerging turf grass. It’s dual-purpose really, with the main one being a giant neon sign for earthworms saying, ‘Come and get it!!’ The 4×4 cage was placed on top of that, with a couple bags of leaves, more compost, and green weeds layered to get the batch cooking.
It’s easy, one of the most productive things I can do for my garden space, and it’s time efficient to boot. No machinery required; just good old fashioned muscles and calorie-burn.
Where the compost used to be.
Loaded with nutrients, ready for plants!
Relocated with a pitch fork – 20 minutes.
(And a cold beer chaser.)
If you’ve been following this blog long enough, you know that emptying 50-some-odd bags of stolen organic waste and flipping the compost pile is the only real ‘work’ I do in the vegetable garden each spring. Aside from patting seedlings or pushing seeds straight into the ground donning bare hands and bare feet, all I’ll do hence forth is to pick and eat delicious veggies at my leisure. That. Is. All.
Does it get any lazier than that? The look on my husband’s face when he realizes how awesome my hoarding habit really is, may be the reason why I do it now. (He’s pretty cute.)
Budding Fig and Redbud Flowers
Spring has Sprung!
Quit micro-managing and let the underworld
of soil microbes and critters
do your heavy-lifting.