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Field crops were certainly the focus of this year’s wet spring, but the home gardener likely saw some delays, as well.

This is the first year I’ve lived in town and the first year I’ve tried urban gardening. My onions, green beans and potatoes were no doubt planted a few weeks later than I had intended. But everything has emerged, and several of the plants are looking good.

It’s been my experience that some plants — like peppers and tomatoes — shouldn’t be set out too early in the year, anyway, so I really haven’t seen much of a delay in those.

Not too bad

In fact, my pepper plants are looking pretty good and I can see what looks to be some small fruits beginning to form. The stems are strong and thick and the leaves have mostly been untouched by the insects and rabbits.

My onions might be the biggest mystery crop. Although they’re tall and green, they only receive sunlight half the day, and they’ve had so much wind this spring that several of the shoots have bent or snapped.

Still, most of them look to be getting thicker and growing new flesh, which is a sign they’re rooting in and growing.

I planted some late onions in containers and they’re looking decent, as well, although I still need to drill some more holes in the bottom to allow for proper drainage. I’m more interested in how they’ll look in a few weeks, when the bulbs begin to develop, and whether there will be enough space and nutrients in the containers.

My place, my call

It may be a bit unconventional to have onions and peppers in what previously was an all-flower bed, but two things: I pay the mortgage, and secondly, they really don’t look that bad. The vegetables and fruits give a little more variety to the common flowers, and when the colorful peppers begin to form, I think I’ll enjoy them all the more.

I’m tempted to pull a few onions early because I love to rub them in salt and eat them fresh. But I really think I should wait, so they produce the most onion possible and I can keep them through winter.

I can’t wait to dip some raw, cut peppers into spinach dip — undoubtedly adding some fat and calories to these healthy foods, but making them all the tastier. I also like them on hamburgers and mixed in with various types of pastas.

The really hot varieties don’t do anything for me, other than burn my tongue and cause me to curse, so I avoid them at all cost. The sweet to mild kinds taste good and they’re safe in just about anything.

Uncharted territory

This is still an experiment for me. As I mentioned a few blogs back, I previously gardened in a third-acre truck patch at one of my grandparents’ farms.

If it wasn’t so far a drive, I’d still be planting my things there. And using a tractor and rototiller.

But for the most part, I like what I’m seeing and I’m certainly learning plenty of do’s and don’ts for next year.

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
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