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Garden talk: Harvesting things

3 Jul

The Heimerman garden now is seven-and-a-half weeks old, and Christopher and I certainly are reaping the benefits!


We’ve harvested quite a bit already—zucchini, salad greens and herbs—and soon will harvest the rest of our produce—green beans, peppers and broccoli and cauliflower.






Cayenne peppers


Green beans


Jalapeno peppers

We’ve harvested about a dozen zucchini and enjoyed them on the grill, in pasta salad and in pancakes. We’ve harvested several batches of salad greens and eaten more than 15 salads. We’ve cut lots of basil and chives and used them in eggs and other dishes.

We’re really looking forward to green beans and peppers. I actually wish we had planted some tomatoes for fresh salsa, but I’m hopeful we’ll get some tomatoes from the farmers market or co-workers with a bounty.

I think we’re both still in shock that we’re really growing vegetables. We often stand out in the yard and admire the garden. We’re nerds.

But we’re nerds with green thumbs!


Garden talk: Growing things

18 Jun

Christopher and I planted our first garden five weeks ago Sunday, and we saw incredible progress as we weeded it this weekend!

We went from this:


To this:






Herbs (Clockwise from top: chives, oregano [planted Sunday in place of the marjoram that never sprouted], parsley [also planted Sunday in place of the dill that never sprouted] and basil)



Cucumber (planted Sunday in place of the previous plant that died)



Green beans


From this:


To this:


Bell pepper (in the shadow of the zucchini plant) and jalapeno pepper (Not pictured: cayenne pepper)


From this:


To this:


Salad greens, including lettuce, arugula and spinach (after one cutting/harvest last Sunday that yielded enough greens for five salads)


And from this:


To this:


Cauliflower and broccoli


Pretty impressive, right? We have green thumbs!

We harvested a huge batch of salad greens last Sunday, after we got home from Milwaukee, and I ate a salad for lunch every day this past week. We another sizeable batch yesterday, and I plan to have another four or five salads for lunch this week. We also harvested a few herbs—chives and basil.

We should see zucchini soon (We have a baby one peeking out!), as well as green beans in the next few weeks.

Christopher and I also have been tackling, week by week, our dry, patchy lawn.

We have laid down seed three times and seen some grass grow from it, but we still have bare patches.


Dark green is original grass; light green is recently planted grass

We planted more seed—and laid it down heavily—this past weekend. We hope the bare spots disappear after this attempt.

It has continued to be pretty warm and dry here, so we’ve been watering the garden and lawn twice daily, as we remember. It’s supposed to be hot and dry this week, with little chance for rain, so we’ll be out there twice daily for sure.

Green thumbs for the win!

Garden talk: Getting started

18 May

We had very few requirements when we looked at apartments and houses for rent in Dixon last fall. We wanted a place with at least two bedrooms and a small yard, if possible. We found our house and got not only a nice sized yard but a large garden area in the full sun behind the garage.

I’ve always wanted a garden. I’ve tried to grow herbs in containers at almost every apartment. But I’ve failed miserably every time. I’ve yet to figure out if my thumb is green or black!

We took the garden space at the new house as a sign we were supposed to give it a go and dove in head (hands?) first last weekend.

As soon as the weather was consistently mild and just about every threat of frost had gone, which this year was sometime in April, we pulled out old plants and weeds, then dug up and turned over the soil in the garden.

A few weeks later, we noticed weeds shot up in the garden, some as short as a couple inches and some as tall as a 12 inches.




Last weekend, with the weather in the 70s, the sun shining and the clouds threatening to bring rain in the evening, we pulled weeds, then again dug up and turned over the soil in the garden. Then, we positioned our plants and seeds and got everything in the ground with a bit of slow-release fertilizer. At the same time, we relocated a bird bath and our compost bin to create a garden “area” in our backyard.





It’s been very warm—even hot—and dry here, so we’ve been watering the garden (and the lawn, which is a sad, patchy brown) twice daily.

I noticed the other day that one of the greens we planted—the arugula, I think—had sprouted through the dry, crumbly earth. I’m hopeful that if delicate greens can make it, then the more established plants can make it, too.

We spent only about $40 on the garden—not including the bit of money we spent on shovels and gloves several weeks ago. We wanted to keep it on the cheap as much as possible, in case we do indeed have black thumbs, but we are very anxious to see the return on our small investment, in the event we are successful.

Here’s to garden-friendly weather and a summer of fresh, homegrown vegetables!