It's that time of year again, folks! Time to try once again to grow something on this blasted porch and keep our food costs down, even if just a little. Each year we figure out what works and what doesn't, and for our fifth year, I've decided we're going with what we know we can grow...no more experiments!
The picture above is last year's garden, right before the scourge of the dreaded Tomato Pirahna. I call it the Tomato Pirahna because it skeletonized our peppers and tomatoes within days. Now, however, I've learned that the big honkin' moth I saw flying around the porch last spring was not a cute little wonder of nature, but actually more like Moth Vader, who decided to deposit its nasty little green Stormtroopers all over my porch.
A coworker's elderly neighbor revealed, after her modest crops were also decimated by the green, slimy monster of death, that planting marigolds near the tomatoes will keep them away. That's part of our garden plan. Of course, I'm allergic to many flowers, and no doubt this will make me sneeze like some spastic fool every time I step on the porch, but it's worth a shot.
This year we are only planting carrots, onions, tomatoes, and maybe a few peppers. Last year I froze about 3 quart bags of tomatoes, chopped with the skin on and placed on a cookie sheet and frozen individually. That way I could take out only what I needed to add to my soup, chili, or pasta dish, run the pieces under hot water for a second or two, lift the peel right off, and throw in the pot. Also, there were two storage bags of onions, chopped and ready for cooking. The carrots we grew last year were more of an experiment, just to see if we could have a late summer/early fall crop; turns out we need to plant them sooner, so they're going in between the rows of onions on the table (where the green beens are in the picture). The two quart bags of peppers are still in the freezer, mostly because I never add peppers to anything. They're mostly so Grandma can have some fresh peppers during the summer. We also had fresh tomatoes and onions all summer long.
I have already planted some onion bulbs in the table, and once those are up, I'll throw in the carrots (mostly because I just didn't mark the rows of onions!).
For now the Garden Guardian has only to watch over the sluggish onions of early spring; later--hopefully--he will have much more to protect.