How does your garden grow? Things are perking up here in Eastern North Carolina. Our tomatoes have little ones hanging on the sturdy stems; the peppers and squash are flowering. We are still picking broccoli, romaine, herbs, and Swiss chard. The early crops are winding down and the hot weather plants are really taking off. The squash and cucumbers are flowering and we picked our fist cucumber last week. It’s time to get okra and beans in the ground as they don’t like the cool nights.
A lot of folks are planting in containers this year, such as the “Earth Boxes” and similar products. These planters are very versatile. They are self feeding, no weeding and are movable. They’re great for all vegetables and are wonderful for folks with small yards. They would even be super as dockside planters! We used them last year and had very good success. We had peppers and salad greens from the summer, and brought them into the garage for the winter. We had fresh veggies all winter. Another new trend in gardening is planting in hay bales. You soak the bales in water and then plant right in the middle. The idea is that the bales are self-composting and create their own fertilizer and they decompose. Very easy!
My husband and I live on a small branch of Smith Creek. We are in the process of stabilizing the bank near the creek. We have planted native varieties such as sable minor palms, sea holly, and ornamental grasses. Last fall, I gathered road side wild flowers, dried the seed, and spread them on the bank. It will be interesting to see what will be blooming this year. NC Dept. of Natural Resources has a web-site that will help people with water front properties by providing information about native plants for soil conservation. It really is important to stop erosion into our creeks and waterways. Consider native species in your landscaping plan to reduce the need for over fertilizing and watering. Every little thing we can do to prevent run-off will benefit our water quality for the future.
Next month, I’ll keep you in the loop of the garden’s progress and local happenings around Pamlico County. Can’t wait for those first tomatoes!!!
Here’s a great recipe for that broccoli in your garden:
Toast 2 Tb. Sesame seeds. Cut 1.5 lb. fresh broccoli into bite-size pieces. Mix together 3 Tb. Soy sauce, 3Tb. dry white wine, and 2 Tb. minced garlic with a pinch of brown sugar. Into a hot wok, add 2 Tb. peanut oil and 1 tsb. Sesame oil. Stir-fry the broccoli until bright green. Add the soy mixture, stir to coat, and cover for about 5 min. until tender & crisp. Sprinkle with toasted seeds and serve. It’s also great with shrimp [wild caught from Pamlico Sound!] or chilled.