I might be in need of a gardening intervention.


My bok choi seedlings, about a week since plantingI moved out of Philadelphia to South Jersey last summer, and one of the things I was looking forward to was finally having a chance to start gardening in earnest. Yes, I’d had an itty bitty backyard before, but very little ever grew well there – it was too shady for most of the vegetables and herbs I wanted to grow.

Last summer I was too late to really get much of anything planted, although I did manage to start a few tomato plants from seedlings that generated one small crop before the frost hit. This year I’m being much more organized – and perhaps a little over ambitious.

At the moment I have 50 baby plum tomato plants started – I have a feeling I’m going to need to learn to can this summer, for sure. I haven’t dared count the lettuce plants yet, which I started in two batches so the heads would be ready to harvest at different times. I’ve also got bok choi sprouting and I’m waiting on my beet, green pepper, marjoram, chive and parsley seeds to take off.

This on top of starting a bunch of delphinium, foxglove, lupine and columbine flowering perennials from seeds. I love my house and my land, but the former owners did NOTHING as far as floral landscaping save some mums and day lilies. So I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me this year now that the inside of the house is getting settled and I can focus on the outside.

Last year we also did try to start two fig trees but I’m afraid they might not have made it despite us wrapping them for the winter. The old Italian farmers around us said to unwrap them March 15, no matter what, which we did and were happy to see some green buds despite the brutal cold and wind we suffered for months. Yet then another chill hit, along with terrible rains that left the ground around our fig trees looking like a muddy swamp. Those new green buds turned brown and I fear the trees are now dead or dying, woe. If so, we’ll have to try again, and try a different location to plant them that isn’t so susceptible to flooding.

What are you planning on growing in your garden this year?

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5 Responses to I might be in need of a gardening intervention.

  1. Now there is something I have never thought of growing, Fig Trees, what an adventure they would be, I am going to have to research to see if they are even an option for our climate here up North.
    Love your picture of the little seedlings, see them just makes me think of Spring and my gardens.

    • We have neighbors who have grown fig trees successfully for many years in the Northeast. Some people choose to put them in large pots to bring inside for the winter; others say just wrap them for the winter (as we did) in burlap while young. Others never do anything fancy with them and they grow just fine! Perhaps it depends on the fig tree variety you get. I’m not sure ours were really the best for this area so if they didn’t make it, I’m going to go to a local supplier and try again this summer.

  2. Nicole,
    A friend of mine in Vineland has grown figs for about 10 years.
    She said they need lots of sunshine but protection from the wind,
    so hers are backed up to a line of hedges.
    Since you’re just starting your garden put your biennial/perennials in first
    so they’ll blossom next year for you. These include lavender, dianthus, hollyhock,
    shasta daisy.
    There are many online garden sites you can join & get info (and seeds).
    Try gardenweb.com, davesgarden.com and some yahoo sites.
    Happy Gardening

    • Hi Cris,

      Thanks for the advice. I think our two fig trees just got way too much wind this winter. So if they are still alive I need to move them to a more protected spot – or try anew with some fresh trees.

  3. I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian

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