How Does Your Garden Grow?

May 14,2009
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

We passed by a local nursery this weekend and it looked as if they were giving away free plants, it was so busy. In our part of the world, mid-May is the optimum time to get those annuals and vegetables into the ground, which explains some of the heavy traffic at the nursery, but I think a large part of it is that gardening, especially vegetable gardening, is hot right now. Yes, I just wrote it: gardening is hot. If you do the math, it is easy to figure out why more amateur gardeners are heading to the nursery for plants and seeds. A pound of fresh tomatoes, even in the peak of the season when prices are lowest, will cost you about $2 a pound. For about that same price you can buy enough seeds to produce bushels full of tomatoes or a plant that will yield many, many pounds. At the Sweet Pea homestead, we don’t have a large area that’s conducive to planting, but we make it a priority to plant vegetables and herbs each year. Planting a garden is fun to do, makes for a quick and wonderful science lesson for the boys and here’s the big bonus: the more the boys are involved with planting and growing vegetables, the more likely they are to eat their harvest. This past weekend we added some tomato and pepper plants to our garden: Check on the progress of our peas (planted from seed in March): And even harvested some cilantro: So whether your thumb is green, brown or somewhere in between, why not give some vegetable plants a try? Most nursery workers can give you the quick low down on how to keep your vegetables thriving. If you are still weary, start with a simple plant like mint. I promise you, you will not kill your mint, and you’ll get a thrill from using something fresh from the garden. SPC