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Thursday, May 13, 2004

I've got peppers! 

My green peppers have now formed. You may recall I went to my favorite home center, Lowe's, to purchase my green pepper and tomato plants just a few weeks ago. And now I'm a Mom! I'm so proud. I have also planted squash, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, radishes and cabbage. So far all but the carrots and cabbage have sprouted so I'm pretty happy about that too. It's absolutely intriguing to watch vegetables form and grow and I can't wait until we can savor these luscious veggies.

So, where do you start when you want to grow your own vegetables? I recommend consulting Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. This book is a wealth of information about garden planning, spacing and planting, starting plants from seed and extending the growing season. Square foot gardening is based on building your garden in a series of squares. Each square holds a different plant and the number of plants placed in each square depends on its variety, size when fully grown and spacing for them to develop. Here are a few examples: pepper plants need 12 inches of space between plants, so you place one pepper plant right in the center of one square. Leaf lettuce needs 6 inches between plants so you plant 4 plants in one square, etc. It's a great method of gardening that I've used in the past and highly successful. Since this is my first year of veggie gardening in a long time and I still don't have my beds properly set up, I haven't followed this tried-and-true method this time but plan to do so next year when I'm better prepared.

I don't know if I've mentioned this, but my husband and I are vegetarian. The opportunity to grow our own vegetables and enjoy their fresh flavor is exciting. Many times we've had to buy our veggies from the grocery store and they tend to just not be as fresh. We've also shopped the local vegetable stand, but just don't get over there often enough. So here we are doing it for ourselves. I'll be sure to share the results as we go. Happy Gardening and, as your mom would say, eat your veggies.

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