Sunday, May 24, 2009

Is it ready yet?

Before I built my square-foot garden, the only food I'd ever grown was tomatoes. They're easy - big container, good soil, a tomato cage, and voila - tomatoes!

I have discovered a major obstacle with home gardening. If you've never grown food before, how do you know when it's ready for harvesting?

Onions are below ground.

Brussel sprouts look like Jack's beanstalk for a long time.

Romaine lettuce looks all lettuce-y right after it pops out of the ground.

Carrots are below ground.

Beets are below ground.

Peas and beans are easy - their pods get really plump and look like they do in the grocery store.

My garden is thriving - lots of lovely leaves and stalks are surging upward. I've pulled out the peas-that-weren't and planted cantelope, cucumber, and watermelon weeds.

As for the rest of the spring plantings, I can't tell if it's time to harvest yet.

It's downright embarrassing.

I've googled "red onions" and "harvesting" and chosen "images" to figure out what I'm supposed to be looking for. Little help there so far - mostly pictures of them plucked out of the ground and lying on drying racks.

This first year is definitely a learning process, with a curve a mile long. I may not get as much out of the garden as I could if I knew what the heck I'm doing, but it sure is fun.

I never thought I'd love gardening as much as I do.

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