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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Everyone should grow something...

Really, everyone should. It is a beautiful thing to watch something grow and then to harvest and eat from it. For the new gardener and the not-enough-time-to garden gardener, I think two easy-successful things to start with are potatoes and snap peas.

Potatoes are quite possibly my very favorite thing to grow. Harvesting is like digging up treasure! You have no idea how many perfect little smooth presents are going to be under the soil, and every time you come upon one it is like a little surprise!

Here is why I feel these two items are an easy and good place to start...
You can grow potatoes in a large deep pot…no yard needed. The plastic terracotta-look pots at the garden center are inexpensive. It takes about one bag of soil to fill it and you are ready to go! Simply buy a potato at the grocery, and set it on your counter until it begins to grow ‘eyes’. Cut the eyes off, then plant them (green shoots up) into the soil so the little eyes barely peek. Then water. And wait…but not for long. Potatoes grow fast! Then they begin to grow their new potatoes attached to the roots under the soil.

I grow them in both winter and summer in my climate in AZ. Potatoes near the top of the roots will begin to peek out of the soil. But there are also plenty down below! I will dig around and harvest and leave the plant in the ground for more to develop.

Snap peas are another great place to start. These grow great in a deep pot as well, and believe it or not, can even be grown indoors in a bright sunny warm window. I grow mine outside in the ground at my home. They climb the poles and have pretty flowers, then like magic, these white flowers become these sweet crisp snap peas. I also harvest the leaves of the plant and eat them in salad (no need to waste a perfectly delicious green!). They are a mild, sweet pea flavor and are tender and amazing in a salad.

Peas do take a few weeks to germinate and sprout, so there is patience involved on the front end, but the growth and harvest is wonderful to watch! Just place a teepee of bamboo poles (from the garden center) or tree twigs from your yard to have them grow on.

1 comment:

  1. I've been inspired... today is a nasty snowy-blowy-ten degree New England day and those potatoes have just spoken to me from afar. We'll have a long winter but spring inevitably shows up and I'll be ready and waiting. My gardening thumb is lacking in greeness but I think I can manage a one pot deal. I do look forward to your recipes even though we do not have gluten issues, but at the same you've given me ideas for my gluten intolerant cutie Texas grandson CJL. I'll stay tuned for all your coming attractions and will be ready for my next visit to Texas.
    Thank you sweet Larisa..
    From G. Thompson up in the frozen corner of MA.