A few months ago, like many around the world, I found myself suddenly without a job due to Covid-19. At first, I went crazy cleaning, tidying my house and making nice meals. In the early days, I imagined this as a short term, temporary, thing that would wash through our lives, and in a few weeks, we would return to normal. But that was not to be the case and having a tidy house is only a momentary thrill and then, so what! Not very satisfying work, for as soon as it looked nice in one spot the next person in the house came along and I’m sure you can guess the rest.
My last day of work was March 16th ,but here in Ontario we had some nice sunny days so I soon started cleaning up my garden for the arrival of spring. It felt so great to be outside working in the garden that I quickly had both the front and backyard tidied up and then, so what!
I have many perennial plants in my smallish yard so I really didn’t have much to do but watch them start to poke their heads up in the warm weather.
I took the time to prune each bush this year – why? Because I had the time. (I hope I didn’t over prune in my zeal!)
I’ve never had many weeds, but I did have an aggressive dead nettle plant. Having the time and because I would rather be outside than in, I decided that I would try and get rid of it this year, so I pulled and pulled for several days.
I also had a few new baby plants which I dug out and moved around the garden to where I would prefer them to grow. I always try to move baby plants as early as I can. This way you don’t have to spend the summer caring for a fragile plant in a new spot who needs a lot of watering. I have found that moving plants in March or early April is the very best time for them as they don’t even seem to notice that they’ve been moved at all.
So I found myself at the end of March, with all my spring gardening tasks finished. I went back inside and back to making nice meals, but it was now three weeks since we had last grocery shopped and to be frank, our meals were becoming a bit strange. We were running out of all sorts of things… We plugged along for a bit but we finally had to face shopping again to restock on fresh fruit and veg. Grocery shopping is now a tactical challenge. We have to don rubber gloves and masks and get up extra early to try to avoid long lineups, carrying with us a shopping list as long as Santa’s!
In these strange times, the pleasure of food shopping for me has disappeared and been transformed into a very, very unpleasant task.
I started thinking it would be nice to just walk into the garden and be able to pick a few fresh vegetables or herbs when I want them (rather than hunting through the aisles of a supermarket, fully gloved and masked).
So I walked around the garden wondering where I could squeeze in a vegetable plant or two among the perennial flowers. Well, the more I walked around and the more spots I found, the more excited I became with the idea of growing a few veg. I thought to myself: Okay, I can do this (or at the very least, I can try), and what the heck, I have the time and I would rather be outside than in!
I started researching the ins and outs of a kitchen garden and have been taking notes upon notes upon notes to keep myself straight. So I thought you might want to come along on this new journey with me, through my trials, my failures (I’m sure there will be a few!), and hopefully some successes.
If you are also starting to grow vegetables for the first time, let me know and we can share what we learn!