Friday, May 6, 2011

Vegetable Garden Update - Growing Peas, Carrots, Onions, Mescluns and Mustards

It was a beautiful evening yesterday so I whipped out my camera and took some progress photos of my little veggie garden. My tiny bit of success last summer whetted my appetite for more. I can say that the most delicous carrot I've ever tasted came from my little urban garden patch.

The first seeds planted this year were for the heirloom Little Marvel peas. This cute little plant produces sweet pea pods on a small bush-like plant that works well for containers, and directly seeded in the garden. I love when its foliage starts to uncurl.

Growing next to them are my Mokum and Imperial carrots, as companion gardening rules say that peas love carrots! From what I understand, the biggest risk to carrot crops are the carrot rust fly. I hope that planting these within my rows of peas will confuse the bugs and keep them away from my tasty carrots. Carrots sure take a lot of patience and careful weeding. When they first poke out from the soil, they resemble blades of grass, but soon the familiar fern-like leaves will follow.

I would be really pleased if I can successfully grow baby salad greens instead of purchasing them in the wasteful plastic packages. I try to reuse them before recycling, but it bugs me that this is how some veggies are sold today. Hopefully these little baby lettuce blend mescluns will grow nice and strong.

Another first-time vegetable I'm attempting are these Tah Tsai mustard greens with beautiful green leaves. The little plot I'm growing the mustards in only gets morning sun, so I'm hoping the leafy greens can produce in this area. I'm saving the hot and toasty afternoon sun areas for my tomato and pepper plants!

I rounded out this plot with some onion sets I saw at the grocery store. I didn't realize till recently that you can plop these small bulbs into the ground in the Spring and wait for July to roll around. I purchased about 20 onion sets for about 80¢ so even if only a few onion bulbs fatten up, it'll be well worth it. Apparently you can even use some of them solely to harvest for scallions (green onions). I thought this was such a great deal that I went back and purchased 20 more last week, photographed here with my new Pyrex Delphite side plates, and I hope to get these in the ground soon.

I'm really optimistic about my garden this year, and hoping that the bugs don't get to the produce before I do. Simple tasks like weeding, mulching, and watering are so rewarding - I get to relax, and observe progress every time I get out there!

Stay tuned as I'll get back to our regularly scheduled programming within the next few days! I've got some great thrifty finds that I have to clean up and photograph. Thank goodness the days are getting longer!


  1. Looking good so far!!

    I am desperately waiting for my peas, potatoes and carrots to make an appearance. Only radishes and swiss chard have sprouted. I'm afraid all this rain has drowned them!

  2. Hopefully not Sandra! I can tell you that my carrots and peas were planted March 22nd if that helps. The carrots did indeed take a long time, and they are hard to spot when they do arrive.

    I would suggest digging into the dirt to see if your peas are still there - sometimes the birds get to them - because they generally sprout the fastest...

  3. It's always so nice to see green (and edible!) things growing in your own garden. We had a beautifully ripened strawberry ready to pick, but our dog got to it first... :$ Hope you get to eat yours!!!


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