04 April 2008

Vegetables in the Flower Garden

So many thoughts came together today while I was potting seedlings of Red Russian kale, Pak Choi, bulbing fennel and other beautiful edibles that I love to grow by themselves and in flower beds.

Last year's Red Russian kale is still gorgeous despite several freezing nights this winter. It is surrounded by daffodils in the front bed right now.

Today's post from the Transatlantic Plantsman is about Joy Larkcom who evidently originated the whole idea of cut and come again salad greens as well as planting edibles in flower beds. Go figure - Who knew there was a Queen of Vegetables?

The online link is to Telegraph.co.uk and the author of the column and blog is Graham Rice.

Rice says Larkcom "tested thousands of varieties, identifying those ideal for the organic home gardener and, in a series of classic books, all recently updated - The Organic Salad Garden, Grow Your Own Vegetables, Oriental Vegetables (all published by Frances Lincoln) as well as Creative Vegetable Gardening . . ."

And, in today's Tulsa World newspaper, Jay Cronley talked about the popularity of gardening.
Cronley's column is called, "Bury your troubles digging in the dirt."

The online conversation for garden writers this week has been dominated by talk of a resurgence of gardening. Garden writers and speakers say that more young people are coming to their talks and asking questions about growing vegetables as well as decorative gardens.

Steve Solomon's book, "Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times", is one of my favorite reads on the topic of vegetable gardening. But then again I have not seen any of Larkom's books yet.

Tomorrow I'm mixing up some of Solomon's recipe for his complete organic vegetable garden fertilizer.

Here is the recipe: Mix 4-parts seedmeal (I use cottonseed meal because it is available here) plus one-fourth part agricultural lime plus one-fourth part gypsum or double up on the lime plus one-half part dolomite plus one-part finely ground rock phosphate or one-half part kelpmeal or one-part basalt dust.

Try to find the book if you are interested in vegetable gardening. Solomon was the founder of Territorial Seed and now lives in Tasmania. His blog is Soil and Health - the depth of information about soil is astounding.

And, before you buy that flame weeder (I can't be the only one craving a flame weeder), take a deep breath and read this column from the Basehor Sentinal in Basehor Kansas. Author, Gwyn Mellinger will pull you back to Planet Earth in a piece titled Gardening Industry Targets Baby Boomers, Their Wallets.

What a week we have coming - 70 degree days and 50 degree nights. The spinach and arugula seedlings will have to be planted in the next two days.

Hope you are enjoying having your hands in the dirt.


Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Hi Martha,

I can't wait to get back home from Austin and put my hands in the dirt. All this garden visiting has made me long to get back home.~~Dee

Campo Girls & Hoes said...


I am in Malaga, Spain and loving my garden at the moment, my Tulips are coming up, I have just planted my first Petunias and Pansies - my fruit trees are growing lovely and I have a load of tomatoes every week and strawberries - yummy! Loving getting my hands dirty at the moment - even if it is back breaking ;)


Molly Day said...

Ah, fellow gardening addicts, welcome to my world.

We spent all day yesterday and today digging, planting, weeding, transplanting, watering, etc.

It is wonderful to hear from others who share the passion.