Salads, Tomatoes, Peppers & Strawberries

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Mixed greens

Making your lunch with stuff from your backyard is extremely satisfying. This week I had my first *real* garden salad, complete with baby spinach, arugula, cress, a green onion and my first little radish. Delicious!

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Wee radish

This weekend I got my act together and went to the garden centre to get the rest of our vegetables. I found the variety of plants which we could choose from pretty overwhelming – how can you choose from something like 50 kinds of tomatoes? In the end we got some advice and chose 4 different kinds: Early Girl and Big Beef for eating and slicing, Tiny Tim and Sweet Millions (little ones) for snacking and salads, and Roma for canning, sauces and salsa. I’m sure we’ll end up using each of them differently but it was fun to think about what I would use! Now, while planting vegetable transplants definitely gives you more immediate satisfaction than planting seeds, it’s still pretty rewarding to see the first sprouts popping through the soil.

I re-arranged my squash and melon bed to accommodate the tomatoes. Now the squash and melons will hopefully grow up and over the side, leaving lots of room for my tomatoes to grow!

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I realized at this moment that each container contained 4 tomato plants, and that you could only plant one per square. Looks like we’ll be eating a lot of tomatoes this summer!

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Tomatoes, planted. Here are the Roma, Early Girl and Big Beef varieties.

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I ran out of room in the beds, so my little tomatoes were planted in containers.

All I could think about while planting these tomatoes was how much caprese salad I would be eating this summer. I can hardly wait! I also anticipate having way more tomatoes than we can eat (hopefully) so everyone who comes over will likely have a tomato care package sent home with them.

We also picked up some pepper plants at the garden centre. I like hot peppers, but not so hot that I start to cry after eating them. We decided on 3 different varieties – a sweet cherry pepper (for filling, grilling, and popping in our mouths), a sweet hungarian pepper and a hot hungarian pepper. I might go back and get a jalapeno to round things out!

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4 pepper pots, soaking up the bright afternoon sun.

We also added a few non-vegetable plants to the garden. I find it hard to stop buying plants once I start…

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Hanging strawberry basket

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Harry from Coles told me this should keep mosquitoes away – here’s hoping!

Now most of our plants have been started or purchased, we can sit back a bit and enjoy things as they grow. It really is starting to feel like our own garden oasis!

“Spring drew on . . . and a greenness grew over those brown [garden] beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.” 

– Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

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