First you have to plant a garden.

September’s here. So soon?

There’s that hint of the coming season in the air. A near-record hot day followed with a near-record cold (or cool) night. Great for finishing tomatoes and sleeping, this kind of weather.

I don’t have tomatoes planted this year. The yard nazis probably would have cut them to the ground anyway, like they did my little herb garden. They did trim a tomato plant to the ground one year. Truly steamed me!

But I wander.

If I had tomatoes planted, this would be the time of year I’d have buckets full ripening each day. I’d have enough to give away or freeze or can or turn into tomato juice. I like that! Homemade tomato juice is something I like to make.

My garden space is so poor, this was a whole season's "crop" a few years back.

My garden space is so poor, this was a whole season’s “crop” a few years back.

Mine is alive, not flat and “canny” like commercial tomato juice. Mine has basil (yum!), ginger, salt, pepper, a tiny amount of sugar to brighten flavor, garlic, onion…whatever spices or herbs I have handy that sound right at the time. Oh, marjoram is lovely in tomato juice. Sage. Best when those herbs are home grown.

But I salivate!

If the yard nazis haven’t trimmed them down to the ground, this is the prime time of year, too, for marigolds and nasturtiums, two of my favorites. I’ve never eaten the former, but the latter…mildly spicy, floral, great fresh on sliced garden tomatoes! Mmmm! Along with all my other favorites, especially the many varieties of basil.

Mmm! Basil!

One year I grew twelve different varieties of basil. I didn’t know there were so many. I got a seed catalog in the mail, however, with that many varieties. I tried them all!

That was the same year I planted six varieties of heirloom tomatoes grown from seed from the same catalogue. It was heaven! Plain old sliced tomatoes topped with oil, twelve varieties of basil chopped, a little chopped mint, and chopped nasturtiums, salt and pepper: the family practically made a meal of tomatoes alone! We could have. And we barely made a dent in the abundance of tomatoes and herbs.

Abundance!

You know the season’s over, too, when your non-gardening neighbors pull the blinds and lock the doors when their “spidey sense” tells them that shopping bag you’re carrying is full to the top with zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, and green beans. More for me! I miss having a decent garden area, even though there are only so many ways to use up all that fresh produce before it goes bad. I love the challenge of too much garden produce.

Of course, first you have to plant a garden.

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7 thoughts on “First you have to plant a garden.

    • http://phainopepla95.com/2013/07/16/yard-nazis-part-1/

      I’m sorry! I should have posted this link to the original reference or explained. The next day and a post on 17 July 2013 continue the theme, for a total of three parts on “yard nazis”.

      In this case, they are people who work for the place that owns the place where I live. SOmetimes, in their zeal, they wipe out flower beds without first asking what is wanted (rhubarb, a small herb garden, a patch of mint) and what is not.

      It isn’t clear whether residents are expected to tend these foundation flower beds or not. Some places management tends to, others, not. In my case, health issues sometimes get in the way of a English flower garden (i.e. neatly manicured!) or something with some weeds in it. This year, I was semi-able to tend a garden, but not long enough (apparently) to have a neatly groomed look, which I think is something best left to people who can afford minions to tend their estates or people in good physical condition. I fit neither category.

  1. Yes first one must plant a garden and I used too and then canned all of late summer and early Fall.
    Now I help in the community garden in the apt complex where we live, and we all share the harvest.

    • The management talked about something along that line here once or twice since I’ve lived here.

      There’s a vacant lot south of my duplex that might make a good garden place for everyone if: 1. they don’t move a unit onto it the year everyone decides to plant a garden there, 2. those of us closest to the vacant lot don’t have to provide water.

      That last one isn’t a plan killer, but sometimes one needs the hose to fill a bird bath or water around the duplex, too!

      One of the low cost housing complexes has a community garden that is well appreciated by the residents I know who live there. It’s a great idea! The best part about this is the heavy producers have a built in outlet for the excess produce they grow!

      I keep thinking I’d like to try raised bed gardening, too, something I could do on a smaller scale on my patio instead of trying to turn the desert around the building into decent gardening soil. THAT, I know from personal experience, is tons of work. I like an organic approach, which drives some types of traditional gardeners (if “organic” isn’t the actual traditional way!) crazy.

      Another thing I did in past is let weeds grow in the garden. They give the garden plants some relief from critters, help shade the ground, help keep the soil friable, and add organic material back into the soil at the end of the season.

      Dear me! Here I go writing another post in the form of a comment in reply to someone else’s comment! I should save it and get another post out of it but I’m a chatterbox!

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