Friday, January 15, 2010

Confessions of a Gardening Addict

I'm planning my garden. OMG, there's so much to do before I pick up shovel, rake and hoe it's crazy-making.

My huge helper this year is Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades by Steve Solomon. My DH is being his bestest patient self as I go on and on about garden plans and issue questionnaires to my family about what they'd like to eat next year. I'm only halfway through this book and I feel like I'm six months behind in garden prep--a good thing, because it gets me crackin' during what's normally down time for gardeners. I also am enthusiastic about annual veggies again, after lackluster performance from everything except zucchinis, tomatoes and blackberries. (These are the staples with which I was hoping we could survive a zombie apocalypse because nothing else was really doing well. Except pumpkins that one year. But I digress.)

It turns out I hadn't addressed two important regional problems and one semi-important regional problem. Now that I know how to fix my leeching nutrient problem, help beat back symphylans (I didn't even know they existed before reading this book) and decide which overwintering veggies to protect from rain (whoda thunk I'd have to protect my artichokes from rain, for Pete's sake?) I see great things a'comin'. Especially leeks. Mmm, leeks ...

I'll resist going blah blah blah about too much of this. But I will say that if you have had problems raising veggies in the extremely wonderful growing climate west of the Cascades from B.C. to Northern CA, this is a must-read. Buy, or grab a copy from your local library.

pictured: monarda, aka bee balm or bergamot, from my garden

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