Kitchen Garden

May 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Between this past weekend (May 2) and today, I planted more edible experiments to see what would happen. Since our soil is not in good shape, and our backyard will become a muddy mess at some point this summer when we get the landscape ties redone, I’m viewing any planting I do between now and this fall as pure experimentation, with the possible upside of something tasty to eat on occasion.

In the vegetable bed with clay soil amended by organic gardening soil mix:

6 beet seedlings

6 chard seedlings

6 mesclun seedlings

In pots with organic potting mix:

1 lavender seedling (I also stuck 2 tiny branches that broke off into the dirt to see if they’d take root)

1 seedling of each of the following: trailing rosemary, French thyme, oregano ‘compactum’ and Italian parsley

(all purchased from Sloat Garden Center)

Herb container garden

Kitchen garden basking in the sun

With Matthew’s help, I also re-potted the Meyer lemon tree I’ve had since we moved into our house four years ago. Now that tree is a case study in fighting to survive.

When we first moved into the house, I was so excited to have a backyard, and I wanted to have an edible-producing plant. So we bought a tiny Meyer lemon tree. We came home and planted it in a pot left behind by the former home-owners. I cared for it, and it responded by producing numerous, wonderful-smelling white blooms. It then produced this miniscule green fruit the size of a pea, which was promptly taken by a bird. The tree never flowered or fruited again, nor did it grow much.

So I admit, I got discouraged.

In the ensuing years, I spent increasing hours working — often gone for days at a time on business trips — and I neglected the poor tree. The only water it received was when it rained, and it never saw fertilizer again. Then, when we had our deck repaired and our patio re-tiled, the contractors shoved the tree into a corner of the yard, where it was showered with TimberTech dust and nearly strangled by an enormous and thorny weed resembling mutant rhubarb with a death wish.

And yet, it held on for dear life. Its skinny trunk had two branches that were still green, and occasionally a lone leaf would emerge. It wanted to live. It was my delightful neighbor, Tonie, who, as luck would have it, is also studying to be a landscape designer, who pointed out to me that it could be salvaged.

So instead of pitching it into the green compost bin, we gave the lemon tree a new home in a bigger pot and a spot on the patio, sunny and protected from wind. I plan to water and fertilize regularly, cross my fingers and hope for the best.

Meyer lemon tree in its new home

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