Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Late Spring Garden: The Harvest Has Begun

 This year, for the first time ever, I got my act together enough to plant some cool-weather tolerant greens in early spring. Most greens can be planted much earlier than the "last chance of frost" date as they can withstand colder temperatures than other veggies. In previous years, I just didn't get around to sowing the seeds until I was putting in the rest of my vegetable garden, and I missed out on a great opportunity for an early harvest of salad greens!

I forgot to write down the exact date I planted, but it was mid-to-late April, so everything here has been growing for 4-6 weeks or so. In the upper left-hand corner is peppermint, which is perennial and grows like craxy! I think every frugalista should have some mint in their garden - it's great for making fresh mint tea all summer long (more on that later!) Plus, since it's incredibly hardy, you'll always have extra to swap other gardeners for more plants to add to your garden.

To the right of the mint is currently a weedy bare patch, which is reserved for some annual herbs that I haven't gotten around to planting yet (parsley and basil). Directly underneath the mint is arugula. If you haven't tried growing this green yet, I highly recommend it! It matures quickly and in my experience it grows quite vigorously. It's always the first green ready for harvest in my garden, and makes a great addition to a tossed salad. We've already enjoyed a few arugula-enhanced salads this season. To the right of the arugula is lettuce, which seems to be poking along but is finally getting noticeably bigger in the last couple of weeks.

Underneath the arugula and lettuce is spinach. Holy cow! When I went out to take this picture, I couldn't believe how much bigger the spinach has gotten in just a couple of days. We had a heavy rain on Monday night, followed by a hot, sunny day yesterday, and I swear the spinach practically doubled in size overnight. It is just about ready to start harvesting now.

Next up:
I'm a bit behind this year - normally I have the rest of my veggies planted by now! I have some green bean seeds I intend to get planted today. I still need to go buy annual herbs, tomatoes and peppers to complete my veggie garden.

How is your vegetable garden coming along this year? Leave a comment and let me know!

P.S. If you haven't yet entered my giveaway for a $40 gift certificate from CSN Stores, go here to check it out before Saturday at 9 PM Eastern.

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