Source: Sherman Publications

Wild Ideas A column by Mary Keck
Green thumb connection

May 16, 2012

My mom, who lives a few hours away in Indianapolis, planted the seed of my love for gardening.

Even in the smallest plot, my mom can find a way to grow something beautiful.

Itís because of her that I canít walk by a bed of daisies or hyacinths without commenting on their lovely blooms.

If I see a flower thatís unfamiliar, I can ask my mom for help identifying it, and each spring we talk about whatís growing in our gardens.

Since I couldnít be with my mom, it seemed appropriate to spend Motherís Day building a nest for my veggies and herbs.

My husband and I started by laying out the groundwork for a raised bed gardening system. Weíre trying out raised beds for the first time and hoping to plant the usual suspects like broccoli, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce.

In our previous gardens, weíve just dropped the seeds or plants into the tilled dirt already available, which offered varied results.

On the other hand, my mother-in-lawís raised bed garden looks spectacular every season, and sheís got plenty of vegetables and flowers to share.

According to a copy of Organic Gardening I picked up at the libraryís book sale a couple of weeks ago, raised beds are the best cradles for growing greens.

The Vegetable Gardnerís Bible also recommends them because youíre guaranteed to know whatís in the soil. In previous gardens, I dropped my baby plants into unknown dirt that may have contained weed seeds or chemicals.

By using raised beds, I know exactly whatís in my soil, and an enclosed bed system should also provide protection from weeds and critters.

After finishing our veggie beds on Sunday, I called my mom, and we talked gardens.

There may be many miles between my mother and I, but when Iím working out my green thumb, she doesnít feel so far away.

As I wait for my little sprouts to break through the ground and stretch toward the sun, Iíll keep my mom (and you) posted on my raised bed experiment.