Friday, January 23, 2015

Basement Beginnings and Seed Choices - what worked?

So, I thought my seed choices last year were a match for the plot size I had, as well as my desires for consuming and freezing the produce, herbs, and pesto. They included: cherry tomatoes, early tomatoes, bush beans, peas, eggplant, basil, parsley, dill, oregano, thyme, sage.

*Lessons Learned*

                                                  We did learn a few things:

- Peas and beans are best planted directly in the soil. Peas must be planted late in the spring to get any type of harvest. I waited until cool temps were gone altogether, which is not correct. The peas were tender and delicious fresh or cooked, but timing does matter.

- Cherry tomatoes were tasty, great for cooking, but one plant is enough. We had cherry tomatoes every day, and they lost their appeal after 3 months. 

- Early girl tomatoes were a great palm-sized fruit, very sweet and great for sandwiches and salad, but were too sweet for a nice sauce. We had to add tomato paste to get a hearty sauce. And, we planted too many plants - they took over most of the garden, and shaded other plants from the sun which did not allow them to grow to their fullest state. This year we'll plant a few plum and (hopefully) heirloom tomatoes for variety and flavor. It really is nice to have the garden tastes of summer in these sauces as we hunker down in a winter storm.

- The bush beans, eggplant, parsley, dill, oregano, thyme and sage were great! We also planted cilantro which did not survive (my bad). This year we'll reduce the amount of parsley (we had 4 big plants), and add additional bush bean plants - they were delicious! However, we did make and freeze some outstanding pesto with the parsley that we use to season our sauce - even now!

- We planted no lettuce last year which was a mistake. Lettuce is very easy to grow, and does last for some time in a garden. We had grown some in 2013 and it was a delicious treat! 

All in all, we had a fun and productive garden in 2014. It offered enough produce to stay interested, and didn't require a lot of TLC and maintenance. We'll be back getting our 'hands dirty' in a few months! 

Next time, I'll look back and talk about lessons we learned about maintaining the garden.

Happy Growing!

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