Guest post by Jessica HardenThis past semester while interning at Washington Gardener, I got to plant and watch a variety of edibles grow. I’ve never grown an edible before, unless we count the basil plant I killed in my dorm a few semesters ago, so it was an incredibly exciting experience. I also got all of the seeds at the annual Washington Gardener Seed Exchange. I’m not from the Mid-Atlantic region and had no idea what would grow, but everyone I talked to at the event helped me pick out which seeds I should plant!
I was able to grow and harvest red and green 'Salad Bowl' lettuce and 'Astro' arugula. We also planted peas, carrots, and radishes. Unfortunately, they weren’t ready for harvest before my last day of the term.
When the plants first started sprouting, we had to thin them out so they weren’t overcrowded. I had no idea that was something I needed to do and I felt so bad pulling up the baby sprouts (though I found out I could eat those sprouts too). A week later, though, the lettuce and arugula filled in all of the gaps and were growing huge!
After harvesting, I used the arugula on a chicken salad sandwich and it was amazing! Getting to eat the veggies I grew myself makes it taste even better in my opinion. I also used the lettuce to make a salad for my roommates and they loved it. We completely forgot to stop and take pictures of it!
I had a lot of fun getting to dabble in growing edible plants this semester and I feel a little hopeful that I can add a basil plant to my collection of houseplants now.
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