It’s snowing here in PA, and I’m inside snuggled in a blanket on the sofa, fire crackling in the fireplace, Mo spread out in front of it and Roxie curled up next to him, with various gardening catalogues and magazines spread out around me.
January is the perfect time to start planning your vegetable garden. What do you want to grow? Have you mapped out an area in your yard or decided how many pots would work on your apartment balcony? Or do you have only a windowsill to work with. It doesn’t matter as long as you plan… you can grow veggies.
Naturally, space matters which is why it is the first thing you should take into consideration. How much room do you have and what can you reasonably grow. Also, how much time can you devote to it. Don’t overdo it or you won’t enjoy growing your veggies. Also make sure you pick a sunny spot. Veggies flourish in the sun.
I have space for a sizeable garden, and I enjoy canning and freezing much of my harvest, so a section of the garden is strictly for veggies I can freeze and can. Another section is for veggies I use as I harvest them. I try different vegetables in that area now and again. Some are a hit and some a miss.
I can my own sauce, so I plant several plum tomato plants as well as regular tomatoes throughout the summer. But my favorite is the small tomatoes I grow in a pot on my deck. I can run out in the morning and pick a few fresh off the vine and grab a cucumber from the garden to make a tomato, cucumber, and chive (cut fresh from my herb garden) salad to go along with my breakfast. The quick and easy salad has become Ian’s favorite in the summer.
The rest of my garden contains, cucumbers, hot peppers, banana peppers, string beans, carrots, a variety of lettuce, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, yellow & orange peppers. It’s a lot but I enjoy gardening so it’s not a chore for me. I have to watch Mo since he loves carrots and steals them from the garden when given a chance.
That is one of the reasons I make sure my garden has a good-size fence around it and it also keeps the forest animals at bay. I plant marigolds among some of my veggies. On the outskirts of the garden I grow mint in containers since both repel deer. Marigolds also repel rabbits, and the plants add vibrant color to the garden.
For those interested… here’s the recipe for my tomato, cucumber, and chive salad.
For 2 people, for more adjust accordingly.
1 tomato cut into bite-sized pieces.
½ a cucumber quartered
Chives to taste (fresh if possible)
Salt & pepper to taste.
Combine tomato and cucumber pieces in a bowl. Drizzle with some light olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix gently. Add chives and mix lightly once again. Chill any remaining portions if there are any! It’s a great side dish for breakfast with eggs and toast, or with any meal or as a light snack.
My newsletter goes out soon so watch for it and news about me and Ian and the gang.
Until next time… stay prepped & prepared.