Saturday, June 9, 2012

New Interest - Organic Gardening

Over the last few months I have gotten really interested in organic gardening.  It started with tomatoes and some peppers, and then, when my girlfriend and I moved in together, I ended up with a lot more space in the backyard.  From there, I built four 12 sq. ft. raised beds, and started growing broccoli, carrots, onions, spinach, swiss and rainbow chard, and of course, more tomatoes and peppers.  

I find it fascinating.  I had never grown anything from seed before, and it blows me away watching this stuff take root and grow.  I have my first tomato plants that I grew from seed now yielding large fruit, and it is somehow deeply satisfying.  

It is educational as well.  For a while, I was starting seeds in the window sill or under a UV light, and then when they got a few inches tall, I would put them immediately into the ground.  I would watch them immediately wilt and die in the sun.  From the failures I learned that they need to be "hardened off" with just a few hours outside a day in the shade, as they get used to the harsher outside environment.  In my initial excitement, I would plant dozens of seeds, right next to each other, and then wonder why their growth would be stunted.  And of course this made me learn about proper spacing and how to thin out the seedlings as they grew. 

My current dilemma are these goddamn caterpillars who are eating my sugarsnap peas.  They eat huge holes in the leaves, and then leer up at me, bloated bellies stuffed full of my future salads.  All I can say to those little bastards is that WINTER IS COMING.