About this time every year if there is even a few days of warm weather I get Spring Fever. In my temperate zone of North Carolina it is never a good idea to plant too early as there will always be a cold snap. Oh man, is it hard to not do it though! I am too lazy to start seeds indoors even though that is always a good idea. I do a little container gardening on my back porch. I am hoping my sister’s boyfriend will eventually make me a raised bed garden.
According to the Almanac I should not plant seeds outdoors until early April but it is so so so hard to wait that long! I inevitably plant earlier and lose half the “crop” but luckily for me that is one pack of seeds so it is not a big deal. I do plan to have three times the amount of containers this year. No reason other than I have the time right now.
I especially like to grow my own green onions. Yes, they are super cheap but there is something cool about being able to pluck one out of the pot fresh as I need it instead of keeping a bunch in the fridge drawer which eventually dries out before I use it all. Oh, a great tip for those dried up onions – just stick them in a shallow dish of water and they will sprout you some fresh greens!
This year I am going to try to grow cherry tomatoes in a hanging basket, English or Korean pickling cucumbers, baby lettuce, all sorts of hot peppers (mostly to give to JoAnne for pepper jelly), perilla leaves and maybe some basil. I have never had good luck with tomatoes except for cherry tomatoes. I work so hard growing them and then something always cuts the stalk in half or I finally get a fruit and something eats that. So I have given up. Nothing seems to like the cherry tomatoes but me so that is a win win.
In case you were wondering, Korean cucumbers are less seedy, very crispy and tasty. The closest match I have found is the persian/english variety in the stores. I do not like the super seedy cucumbers or the ones that grow super big. They just seem mushy and tasteless to me. Their skin is also bitter on my tastebuds.
I remember taking my oldest kiddo to the NC Farmer’s market when she was a tiny tot. I would buy some cucumbers, take one and wash it in the water fountain and hand it to her. She would walk around being her cute self munching on her cucumber snack and everyone would go nuts with the Awwwwww and Oooooh sounds. I guess most kids don’t eat raw veggies? I dunno. She loved all sorts of veggies and fruits so the vendors would fall all over themselves feeding her samples. She still loves fresh produce even at age 15. Yay! The younger one has JUST started liking cucumbers but rather begrudgingly. If it is green she usually turns it down. My kids are such polar opposites!
If you do grow cukes this year try this simple recipe – it is good with grilled steak, chicken or pork. It is refreshing and spicy and super good for you!
I am not trying to grow enough to feed a family -it is more like a supplemental garden. I enjoy getting a few salads from the lettuce patch and everyone likes cucumber in my family so hopefully we will get a harvest of that. If you are gardening in any way, please share with us any tips you have for your region. Good luck everyone!