Susan Susan, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow?

January 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

Well it doesn’t at the minute, at least the vegetable patch that I used to love to tend doesn’t.

The pictures above were taken about 3 years ago  – a good harvest that year.

Around this time of the year (in the northern hemisphere anyway) thoughts wander to little green heads, poking out of their soil beds, preparing to become delicious vegetables to adorn my plate in a few months time.

Last year at this time, unlike my normal routine, I did not plant any tomatoes, or prepare for various other germinations to happen. I had a feeling things weren’t right. At that time I only really had a rash, but I did keep getting various infections, stomach, respiratory and urinary tract. Might be a coincidence and not be connected to the autoimmune condition, but I had a series of them and felt very unwell, on and off for months. If I hadn’t been suffering from them, I may have started to plant out my vegetable patch and by the time it was nearing harvest time, I’d have been unable to tend to my babies, or bring them in. By that time, I had serious muscle involvement with my dermatomyositis and could hardly walk, let alone did the earth. So the feeling I had to not plant out that year was very prophetic.

But this brings me to this year, 2013. I really want to get my vegetable patch going again. It’s good the ground has had a year break, but I so miss growing stuff.

It took me 7 years to learn how to grow vegetables and fruit. In those years I learnt when to best plant the seed, how to look after it and tend to its needs. Growing vegetables is a little like rearing children. They need love and care, you can’t neglect them at all.

One of the things I struggled with early on was attack of the butterflies. I learnt quite quickly that unless you net your Brassica, you may as well forget about having cauliflower cheese. But when I did learn to net them, it felt so mean to stop the lovely butterflies getting their lunch, that in the end I always left a few, un-netted ‘sacrificial’ Brassica’s for them – they made short shrift of them, laying their eggs all over them and the caterpillars scoffing the Brassica’s and growing fat.

This year, I don’t think I will be able to extend myself to Brassica, but I am planning on germinating some tomato seeds soon – around mid February is when I start the germination process and it’s usually been successful.

I’ll also put some cucumber seeds in too, I like the small yellow varieties, like this heirloom cucumber.

And I will put a few potatoes in (or tatties as we call them up north). I like the yellow flesh ones like Charlotte. I might put a couple of courgettes in too  (Zucchini) they are easy to grow.

And finally a few lettuce, so we can have lettuce, cucumber and tomato sandwiches.

So, dermatomysotistis, you may have cheated us out of our vegetables last year, but this year I will be eating freshly dug potatoes and having delicious salads.

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