Kitchen Garden

Garden is In – 2021

Garden on May 31, 2021

On Memorial Day I fenced in plot #7 and planted Guajillo chili peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, and a variety of yellow squash and zucchini. There is always something more to plant, yet with the fences up, I’m saying the garden is done. A gardener needs closure.

The next step is to go through the greenhouse and see what I might have missed and find a space for it. There are also extra seedlings which can now be composted. The pumpkins, cantaloupes, and winter squash are not ready to go into the ground yet. From here it is a clean-up operation… and weeding.

There will be less weeding because of the landscaping cloth used in some of the plots. Our yard doesn’t produce enough grass clippings to mulch everything, so I had to do something. Last time I brought a load of mulch from the Iowa City landfill a whole new and different crop of weeds sprouted from it. It was free, but a bad option. I re-used the landscaping cloth from last year and with care it will make it through multiple seasons. It is a better choice than single-use plastic or contaminated mulch from the landfill.

The kitchen is transformed by spring produce. There have been a variety of salads, kale and other greens in everything, spring onions, spring garlic, and radishes. Most notable is the abundance of lettuce. Using row cover on lettuce made a big difference in the size and quality of heads. There is more than we will be able to eat fresh. That’s not to mention arugula and spinach, which together make a nice green salad dressed with a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. The first batch of spring soup should be stellar.

Garlic scapes have begun to emerge, signaling summer and its long season of food preservation. I’m ready for the busy days ahead as the garden comes into its own and we enjoy the harvest.

It’s nice to call planting done even though a gardener’s work is never finished.