Six weeks ago I planted my first vegetable garden. I started out with two 8×4 cedar raised beds and within a week added a third. Before I knew it I’d filled another two wooden barrels with a homemade bamboo trellis stuck in the middle for beanstalks. Unable to tame my ambitions I created a rather low-class bed outlined with old bricks I’d found by my fence for a couple more plants. (After you’ve experienced the price tag on cedar, you move on to junky things like stuff you find on the side of the road or in your yard.) One month later I dug an even lower-class hole, no cedar or brick this time, and thrust two more plants into the soil. No patch of lawn is safe from my shovel.
I blame Marrianna, an heirloom tomato expert who sells her seeds all over the world. When I visited her farm with speaker/author/seasoned gardener Lisa Harper, it pretty much caused me to lose my mind, to break the number one rule for new gardeners which goes something like, “With everything you have, fight the tendency to go big your first year.” I think this means do not plant seventeen tomatoes, five peppers, two okras, three squash, three zucchini, two cucumbers, one jalapeno, two eggplants, and three different bean varieties out of the gates. (Just speculating here.)