Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ten Thousand Missouri Gardens

If you live in Missouri and have a garden, do I have the website for you. The state of Missouri is trying to get 10,000 new gardens registered across the state. This project started small with a goal of 1,000 gardens several years ago. That goal has been met so it is on to bigger and better goals.

All gardens are welcome to be registered. You don’t need a huge truck garden to feel comfortable in this group. Any garden is welcome to apply. Whether you are growing food for your family, or flowers to feed the birds and butterflies, take a look at this site.

Actually, that is one of the reasons I love gardening. I can grow great tasting food for my family and have a little corner that produces food for the birds. I love growing sunflowers for the birds. Some people place net bags over the heads of the growing sunflowers to keep the seeds safe. I however, just let the birds eat them whenever they want them. It doesn’t necessarily make for the prettiest sunflowers, but I feel good about feeding the critters. It is my garden and I can grow it my way.

If you haven’t started your garden, it is not too late. In fact we are moving this summer so I don’t have a summer garden in this year. For the first time in forever, there are no fresh tomatoes coming from my labors. However, we will be settled in time to start a fall garden this year.

I may get in a few tomatoes before it is all said and done, but I plan to buy the majority from farmers markets this year. However, I will be planting rosemary and thyme as soon as possible. Then as the summer starts to cool, I will be planting lettuce, spinach, peas, and some corn salad or mache.

If you don’t have space for a garden, consider growing a small garden in pots. Herbs love to grow in pots, and there is nothing like fresh cut herbs to brighten any sauce or salad. I love to grow rosemary both inside the house and in the garden. I keep a pot of rosemary on the window sill for a quick snip for a sauce, a dice to throw in a loaf of bread that is rising to bake, or to toss a couple or sprigs on a baking chicken. It is so fast and easy and really makes a huge difference. I even just brush the leaves gently to release a wonderful aroma as I am standing at the sink doing dishes. All of that from one little pot of rosemary that I got on sale at my local nursery at the end of the season.

If you have a garden space but it has been too wet to get your tomatoes in, have no fear. Go ahead and plant your tomato plants now. It is really to late for seeds, but tomato plants will catch right up with your neighbors in the coming hot days. In fact, we have still had some pretty cool nights that have slowed down the growth of any tomatoes already planted.

Now is a great time to get beans and squash in the ground. If you can just find a day when the ground is dry enough, it has been a bit rough in this part of the Ozarks this year. But that is the life of a gardener. Too much rain, not enough rain, hail, and strong winds always make being a gardener a challenge! Speaking of challenges, here is the website I promised. Sorry I got so wordy; I just love all aspects of gardening.

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