Dreaming About Spring

All this rain has us dreaming about spring. No better time for a little planting. Our kitchen windowsill is now home to a trio of our favorite lettuces and our front stoop is sporting some baby rainbow chard, bok choy and thyme. We’ve laid off gardening for quite a while due to some massive construction going on next door to us and the weeds and snails are running wild. But the thought of spring is getting us motivated to get back out there and with a bit of luck we just might just manage a nice little kitchen garden this year. In the meantime, even a few small pots on the windowsill do a lot to lift the spirits.

Luca is excited to get back to the worms and the strawberries and blueberries we abandoned out there last season, as well as the artichoke plant we nicknamed “Sherm”. My husband has late summer tomatoes on the brain and I can’t wait to get my hands on those Little Gem lettuces and to eat some sugar peas right off the vine.

Windowsill or garden, what are you planting this year?

Yummy Garden: Our first harvest of the spring!

Clockwise top left: strawberries, blueberries ("Reka"), Sugar Snap Peas ("Oregon Sugar Pod"), Spearmint & Sage

I love spring!!! The sporadic hours we’ve put into our garden in Jan and Feb are paying off. Sugar snap peas are one of our very favorites. They love our mild, coastal climate (Sunset Zone 17) and all spring just a couple of plants will produce a nice handful of sweet, crisp pea pods every few days. My two year old’s second favorite garden activity is to hunt for pods in the tangle of foliage and to load up his dump truck with our harvest. He’ll even eat one now and again.

Strawberries and blueberries are coming around. Checking the plants and picking them clean of their fruit is, of course, his #1 favorite garden activity. Our yield isn’t impressive, but the couple dozen we get are such a treat. Leafy greens and herbs do well most of the year — and with the cool, moist air and a bit of sun, they’re super low maintenance (save our ongoing battle with slugs). We’ve been cutting from the same rainbow chard for about a year now! Artichokes and fennel are perfect for San Francisco gardens too and striking to look at… and our dwarf lemons and limes are bearing more fruit than last year which we are definitely excited about.

The space devoted to edible gardening in our yard at the moment comprises just two 6′ x 4′ beds and some scattered pots. I’m continually amazed that that small space can keep us supplied with salads and least a couple of vegetable side dishes most weeks. As our skills improve, I can’t wait to see what we can coax out of our garden. Of course, this is not to say that my picky toddler is eating many vegetables these days, but the fact that he enjoys playing with them is something I guess.

A shout out to some gardening resources we’ve been checking out lately:

GrowCookEat (Visit goodLife {eats} on Fridays during spring/summer for a collection of tips and posts from other bloggers writing about gardening); The Urban Farmer Store (the place to go for drip irrigation and more); Sloat Garden Center (our local “go-to” garden center); CUESA (seasonal eating); Annie’s Annuals (check out their “totally useful plant lists”)