There are two things I’m currently taking care of, a newborn and a vegetable garden. Both are totally new to me and both are lots of fun and very satisfying to spend time with, even if they have some occasional fussiness I have to figure out how to deal with.  Today’s post is about the garden!  The vegetable garden is pretty well established now, about six weeks after the seeds going in which I wrote about here.  Look at those bean teepees at the ends of the bed!

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Many of the plants are doing splendidly. Both varieties of pole beans are thriving and having a grand time climbing the bamboo canes. We’ve already harvested several radishes from the first round of seeds and the second planting is coming along too. The cucumber looks tough and awesome, and the muskmelon (like a canteloupe) finally sprouted under the hop vines.

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The melon will grow sideways and the hops will grow up.  At least that’s the idea.

Not everything sprang to life so easily. A couple weeks ago I  finally had to admit that some of my seeds weren’t going to come up – my tomatoes, my jalapenos, my chard, basil, and most of my carrots. That was about half of what I’d planted so it was a bummer. I re-seeded and now I have a few more carrots and some chard seedlings, but it looks like the jalepenos are a no-show this year. I have two tiny, tiny basil seedlings where the leaves are the size of lentils.

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I have no faith that they will last much longer so I bought a nice bushy basil plant from the hardware store.  Ha!  I WILL have fresh pesto this year.

As I mentioned, none of my tomatoes came up the first time.  I re-seeded and all three varieties of tomato seedlings came up (at which point I became pretty sure I pulled them up as weeds the first time… oops!) but after a week or so, all the seedlings except one were munched away by bugs overnight. The lone survivor is for a purple-and-red striped tomato, and I hope it makes it to maturity! It’s about three inches tall right now.

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For insurance, I bought three tomato plants from the hardware store and planted them where the other ones didn’t come up.  I didn’t take pictures of them because they’re not really my kids, you know?

We probably won’t recoup our costs this first year of gardening.  I’d say the bed preparations cost about $40, the seeds were $42, and the mature tomatoes and basil were about $15.  Next year I’ll still have plenty of seeds left over and will be able to start the tomatoes early indoors, so there won’t be much cost for additional seeds or for potted seedlings.  The Chief hopes to till another bed next spring and double our planting area!  That’s great because I do have a few sprawling types of vegetables I wasn’t able to plant this year due to space constraints – watermelon, zucchini, etc.

What are you growing in your neck of the woods? My midwife already has zucchini overload but she started her garden much earlier than I.  Do you have vegetables?  A few urns of decorative annuals on the front stoop?  An acre of corn?  A philodendron in the living room?  Or is a garden something you also have been dreaming about for a while?

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