Happy Belly Foodie Garden
Welcome Spring!!! Take a walk through my garden with me.
Since it’s getting warmer here in Kentucky, I’m out fiddling in the yard and getting ready for this year’s gardening season. It’s muddy and wet. Tulips and daffodils have poked up through the ground and have begun smiling in the morning sun. Soon I’ll be enjoying a wonderful pink and scarlet bouquet of perennials.
While I’m enjoying the flowers and cleaning out the bird feeders, I’m gearing up to replant some of my favorite herbs and vegetables and planning on trying some new things.
There’s not a whole lot of space to grow things here at the Happy Belly Foodie home and my doggie crew has their territory marked out back. So, I plant very small raised beds along the sides of my house and grow most of my herbs in containers up on the deck.
This bed is on the north side of my house. It sits on a fairly deep slope. I’ve tried various things here with some success but have had mostly failures. The maple tree out front likes the nutrient rich dirt in the bed and sends a netting of roots for me to fight with every year. Alas, I keep trying. This year I’ll be planting some beets and green beans here.
This bed is on the south side of my house and that’s my favorite place to plant tomatoes and peppers. Most years I have great success. As I am regretting not starting my seeds back in January, I’ll be heading to the farmer’s market to get my plants this year.
Though it’s a little difficult to see, there’s a rain barrel in the back corner, just before the gate. Cherry tomatoes love to grow in the planter and dangle over the top of it.
There are some sprouts coming up from seeds that dropped at the end of the season. I’ll be adding a few more seeds to the dirt once it gets a little warmer. Cherry tomatoes are very easy to grow from seed and they’re great for planters like this. They get plenty of water here.
This may sound a little crazy but I’ve cleared the old brush out of the tomato bed and planted asparagus here. According to the book, Carrots Love Tomatoes, asparagus and tomatoes are great companions. I’ll let the asparagus have the bed for the year and plant my tomatoes in containers. If all goes well, I can harvest new asparagus shoots next spring and then plant tomatoes around them. The tomatoes will shade the asparagus and the asparagus will help keep buggy pests way from the tomatoes. I may plant some carrots in front there, too.
Up on the deck, I’ve got all kinds of planters for herbs and small veggie plants. Some of them have returned on their own. I have cleaned the rest of the containers and started seeds for new ones in a little greenhouse.
The chives that I keep in a deck planter came back. These are recycled cuttings off of grocery store bought chives. No sense in throwing away good food, right? Just save the root ends and stick them straight in the dirt. Snip off what you need to cook with and leave the plant in tact. It’ll keep growing back again and again. Good deal, huh?
In the Spring, you’ll get chive blossoms which are great in salads.
Some new veggies I’m trying this year will be leeks and baker potatoes.
I specifically purchased an organic leek from the grocery just to see if I could get it to grow at home. It would make an invaluable addition to my garden. Leeks are delicious in soups and stews! I’ll post updates now and then to let you know how it goes. I just cut the root end off at about 4 inches, put some toothpicks in the top and set it in water.
This is two days later… Cool huh?
Tomorrow I’ll be planting potatoes in a grow bag. When you purchase seed potatoes you have to cut them in sections, making sure to leave at least two eyes on each cutting. You need to let them dry out at least 24 hours before planting so they don’t draw fungus, disease or pests.
Finally, I have a small, fenced in bed out back where I plant sweet potatoes every other year, rotating with various other veggies.
Rather than buying the plants this year, I’m growing the slips off of organic sweet potatoes from the grocery. Sweet potatoes are planted by the green growth (slips) that grows off of them rather than cutting the potato in sections. Hopefully they’ll be ready by May, when it’s planting time.
If you do grow sweet potatoes in your garden, you’ll want to let your harvest cure for several weeks before you cook and eat them. It takes a little time in a dark cool place for the sweet potatoes to develop their flavor and sweetness. (Just in time for Turkey day!)
That’s about all we’re up to for now, besides some good cookin’ in the kitchen. (Stay tuned for a few recipes coming up this week.) While you’re here, check out Wild Mushroom Marsala Soup and some herb profiles from last year.
Throughout this year’s Kentucky gardening season, I’ll be sharing tidbits on what’s happening here now and then. So be sure to check out the new gardening tab at the top menu there while you’re visiting.
If you’ve got any questions, tips or just wanna say hi, drop a comment down below. We’d love to know what you’re up to in the garden!
Have a beautiful day and as always, keep it delicious!
Till next time ~ much love, Connie