Baby tomatoes

Baby tomatoes

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Springtime at The Little Lake House

Seems like winter took forever to go away, and it wasn't all that BAD really! Maybe I'm just getting old and grumpy. Maybe I'm turning into one of "those" people- you know the ones, they live in a winter climate state but complain all winter long about snow. Guess what guys- Arizona has vacancies.......

So spring has finally arrived, and with that the start of gardening season. I have been a gardener for many many years. I have had all sorts of gardens- patio gardens, little gardens, huge gardens, raised beds, water gardens, container gardens. I'm always trying something new it seems. Container gardening seems to fit my lifestyle the best right now. Our big wraparound deck has lots of space and I manage to fill it with containers every year.

What do I grow? Everything! If it grows in the dirt it can be grown in a container. I have grown every vegetable you can think of from lettuce to carrots to ghost peppers. Every year I have the requisite tomatoes. This year I am growing six different kinds of cherry tomatoes- Husky Red, Gold Nugget, Yellow Pearberries, Chocolate Cherry, Indigo Blue Berry and Indigo Rose. I have one regular tomato plant just for hamburgers and BLTs and such. 

I can't have a garden without peppers. Hot peppers. The hottest of the hot. This year is no exception. Basking in the sun this season are ghost peppers, scorpion peppers, Kraken, Infinity Naga, Morango, Black Congo and Fatalii chilies. I have grown ghosts and scorpions before, but the others are all new to us. I don't grow bell peppers most years because they are so readily available at the farmers market in town or at the Amish farm we visit every year. 

Every kitchen garden needs herbs, and ours always has plenty. I have a big pot that is home to a chive clump that is over 30 years old and still producing. It came from my mother's garden many years ago and I have no idea how long it lived in her garden. It has moved with me numerous times, to California and back, and finally here at The Little Lake House. 

The 30 year old chive clump has been in that pot for more
than 20 years.
Big pots of parsley sit next to this old chive, and all around the deck we have different kinds of basil, different kinds of thyme, sage, oregano, marjoram, rosemary and mint. Mint is a great container herb because you can control it. Plant it in the ground and you have just unleashed the beast. It spreads like wildfire. 

Before long little baby herb plants will fill all these pots
and will flavor our food
Some of the more uncommon vegetables I grow in containers include lettuces and kale, radishes, carrots (the Parisian Market carrots are round like golf balls), eggplant and even sweet corn. Cabbage grows well in containers and so do Brussels sprouts as long as you have a secure place for them - out of the wind so they don't blow over. 

What are some of your favorites to grow in your own garden? What kind of gardens do you prefer?

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