Monday, March 11, 2013

to plant, or not to plant

It is fun to plant things.  There is a great feeling of anticipation in watching a tiny little seed or seedling makes its way towards being a fruit or vegetable.  There is also a feeling or pride and accomplishment in eating that fruit or vegetable, knowing it came out of your yard rather than a grocery store.

But... it is pretty easy to get carried away, growing things just because you can.  One benefit of this blog for me is that I can look back and remember the things that maybe weren't worth growing, that I shouldn't bother with again.  There are many reasons why I'd decide not to grow something, and here are a few examples...

1) Corn.  I love corn, my husband loves corn, and it is such a perfectly summer dinner item.  It also takes up a ton of space for a relatively small yield and there is great risk of raccoons, deer, or other interlopers ravaging the entire crop overnight.  While part of my reasoning is probably related to post-traumatic stress disorder from the Massacre of 2011, you can also buy corn literally anywhere in Ohio in August.  Cheaply.  There is no need to devote a quarter of our garden plot to it.

2) Cabbage. It was pretty.  Purple is my favorite color.  It's great for coleslaw, nice in a stir-fry.  And it takes up feet of space and so long to grow that it actually accumulates cobwebs.  Plus, much like the corn, cheap and readily available at any store. 

3) Broccoli and cauliflower.  Two of my favorite vegetables of all-time, things that we eat on at least a weekly basis.  I know people who have grown broccoli quite successfully, but it just hasn't worked for me.  And you know what happened with the cauliflower. There is still a part of me itching to try this again, but I'll try and resist.  The siren call of home grown cauliflower is pretty seductive, though.  We'll see what happens.

4) Radishes. Ick.  We don't like them.  Overall, I am not sure they really repelled any pests.  I don't care if I only spent $2 on seeds, I will not bother with these again.  Nope.

5) Carrots.  This one comes as a surprise even to me.  I love carrots!  And planting the rainbow carrots and seeing what color they end up.  The problem with carrots is that I don't think I've quite figured out how to store them.  I know you are supposed to remove the tops, but something about them always ends up kind of soft and not appealing to eat.  I probably wasted 90% of what I grew last year, which is sad.  Also sad because sometimes they come out of the ground looking like little pairs of pants, and that is kind of fun (ny).  I also don't think our bed is quite deep enough to grow great carrots.  So... add this to the list with the broccoli and cauliflower.  I kind of know I shouldn't, but am not sure I can resist. 

6. Strawberries.  It's just not working.  This is a long-term relationship that it is time to end.  It's just not going anywhere. 

7.  Asparagus.  Ahhh... this one is really tough.  I'm giving the plant one more season to show us what it's made of.  Asparagus takes three years to produce actual asparagus-sized asparagus.  Last year was the third, and we got two little twigs.  I know I need to take better care of it.  I'm resolved to do that, but only if there is some payback!  Plus, I planted it in a really stupid spot and can't move it so it is totally in the way of other things. 
Stay tuned for what I've decided is worth planting this year!

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