April showers bring May flowers is the common phrase although as we’ve seen this year Spring decided to come early. It was the last weekend of February and odds of getting another freeze looked slim. The bluebonnets were already starting to bloom, but I knew there were still several weeks of official winter. I looked at the 10 day forecast and it gave me the confidence to start my garden.
I went to the local nursery and got a few transplants. I picked up several varieties of tomatoes, Serrano peppers, Hatch peppers, Swiss chard and lettuce. My plot is roughly 3 ft. x 8 ft., but I was on a mission to cram in as much as I could. I had seeds had home so I planted green (and yellow and purple) beans, spinach, cucumber, zucchini and crookneck neck squash. I was ready to be eating from my own piece of land.
Over the past 3 years I have had a garden, but due to its location in the corner of an 8 ft. fence I don’t get the best harvest. Bees don’t make it over the fence, which means my zucchini have never produced even though they make gorgeous (and edible) flowers. My tomatoes did well last year and I’ve had carrots and radishes in past falls. But I’m determined this year to make everything happen. I’ll be cross-pollinating my zucchini by Q-tip and fingers crossed I get some delicious produce.
Now, a little over a month in, it’s taking form. I have just under 20 little green tomatoes and lots more flowers that will soon be little ones. My peppers and beans have flowers as well and my Swiss chard and lettuce have already been harvested. I still have a hard time believing that now is typically the time to plant and I’m already getting to enjoy it.
Unfortunately, that also means there is a shift in wildlife and other plant life that isn’t used to the warmer climate, but for now I’m just going to enjoy the home-grown Swiss chard in my stew.
What did you plant this year?
Adrien Paczosa is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian practicing in Austin, Texas and the surrounding counties.
She is the owner and founder of I Live Well Nutrition her Dietitian practice which started in 2007 and serves clients in the Austin, Texas area in two locations. Fearless Practitioners, the division of her business that offers training to dietitians and wellness professionals.