I haven’t gotten to my vegetables yet, but here’s what I would do

Published 8:01 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I did not plant any vegetables this year. At least not yet. Back in the cold weather I laid out plans in my mind to build a raised bed garden behind the shed, the only place in the back yard with full sun. There are some really neat designs on the Internet. There is one with a trellis attached to the back to accommodate the climbing plants. But that area is out of sight from the fenced back yard and I know from experience that we have rabbits, other wild life and plentiful bugs that would eat everything if we didn’t keep close watch.

Barring that idea, I thought of taking a couple of half barrels, putting an obelisk in each, and placing them right off the back door where I can keep track of the plants.

In my dream garden bed I would plant green beans—Kentucky Wonder pole beans. 

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Beans are some of the easiest vegetables to grow from seed. They pop out of the ground in a matter of days and the pole beans seem to do better for me than bush beans. They are more productive for longer periods of time.

Other plants would be cucumbers, green and red peppers, zucchini and yellow squash— all easily grown. The problem is they are hard to control and so prolific that we cannot eat all of them when they are at their best. I would really like to try raising kale. We have come to like it a lot for salads as well as cooking greens.

If I planted any tomatoes they would be plum or cherry variety, as I have had better luck with them in years past. Most all of these vegetables can be planted in a large container, rather than as a row crop in the ground, therefore ideally, they would be from starter plants and not seed.

The one thing I have had success in growing, albeit unintentionally, is sweet potatoes.

Two years ago my daughter from South Carolina, who has a very productive raised bed garden, brought me some of her home-grown sweet potatoes.

The ones I didn’t eat right away were placed in an open basket container in the garage and forgotten. When my husband found them sprouting he had the idea to plant them in the ground behind the pots of herbs. To make a long story short, they went crazy. Soon the whole area was a tangled mass of vines. They took over the garden and crawled across the sidewalk, crowding out all other plants. When I decided I had had enough I started yanking up the vines, and sure enough there were sweet potatoes of all sizes in clusters.  We ate the bigger ones.

Now as the weather is getting warm, I see a few of those vines starting to pop up, so I know we didn’t harvest all of them last year.

The biggest asset of having a garden is the convenience of having fresh vegetables on hand and you save money at the grocery. Plus, they seem to taste better.

That does it. In the process of writing this article, I have convinced myself to get busy and plant vegetables.  Now, as I hear from Southwest Georgians, the pecan trees are in bloom and it is safe to plant vegetables.