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I’m Dreaming Of A BLT Sandwich

victory gardening 2.0 growing tomatoes

Last Summer was such a disappointment for us in our vegetable garden. Oh, that’s right, we never planted one. With everything that was going on, we just never put a garden in. Wrong decision! We had to buy our tomatoes from farmers’ markets, which is okay. Still, my husband really likes a specific type of tomato for our BLTs: Supersonics!. Plus, I am now officially out of frozen peppers that each Summer I chop up into baggies for cooking. I guess we had a bumper crop 2 years ago since I finally used up my last bag last week. For some reason, I started wishing for a BLT.

There simply is nothing like picking a fresh tomato from your garden, and dinner is served. The funny thing is that I actually hated tomatoes and would never eat one till about 4 years ago when I finally tried one on a BLT. I have never looked back! Someday, I might tell you the story of collecting seeds from my grandfather Albert Behnke’s prized Belgian Giant tomatoes. An awful job, which led to my total dislike of tomatoes.

I started doing what many of you might also be doing: dreaming of our 2021 vegetable garden. I mentioned to my husband about putting in potatoes as I peeled some sorry-looking ones from the store tonight, and I got THE LOOK. Are you going to help with the garden this year, he asks? Hmm, well, I will help drop the potatoes in, I replied. However, he was thinking more on the line was if I was going to help with the weeding. I guess I will worry about that later. Hopefully, we will also put in some onions, which always turn out pretty good in our garden. My mother-in-law still grows the best lettuce and shares, so I tend to skip that. This is all for the early garden, but the vegetable garden needs to have just a few things.

We need, of course, our tomatoes and peppers. I personally love to have about 6 different types of peppers, from sweet to hot. When I put them up in the Summer, I love to mix all the peppers up. I am also hoping to convince him to put in the yellow squash again. Two years ago, our squash never amounted to much, but that is what is so exciting about gardening. Be it vegetables or ornamental plants. Just keep trying different things.

One other thing I am hoping to do with my grandchildren is to get some seeds to start inside. I really think that they will enjoy planting the seeds and watching them grow into plants that they can put in the garden. I know we will still go to the garden center and buy some starter plants but growing from seed lets us pick out varieties that our local garden center might not have.

There you have it! My January garden dreams. It all started with the desire for a delicious BLT. Are you dreaming of your Spring garden? I would love to hear from you: what plans might you be putting in place? A big garden? Or are you like us and just need a few plants? My in-laws have a fantastic vegetable garden, all in raised garden beds. I know one year we planted our tomatoes directly into a huge pot on our patio, and it worked out great. But this year, I am hoping for the garden in the ground. I will let you know what we end up with.

Stephanie Fleming: Beyond Behnke’s

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Last year, when the supply chain was looking fragile, I put in my first dedicated veggie garden in at least 20 years. I had quit when I got tired of feeding the deer, and just put in a couple of tomato plants and pole beans next to the house, plus herbs among the ornamentals, ever since.

    Last April I fenced off the remaining two sides of a 24’x24′ corner down by the barn. Landscape fabric under mulch for the paths, with manure, sand, and vermiculite dug into the beds. Russian Mammoth sunflowers on the north fence, Sugar Baby watermelon on the east, Swiss chard “Rhubarb” on the south, and bush beans on the west.

    Six 4×6′ beds: two summer squash green and yellow, two cherry tomato Sungold and Sunsweet, one sweet corn and eggplant, and one “three sisters” mound with corn, scarlet runner beans, and spaghetti squash for fun. Sage in the corners, African basil at the gateposts, marigolds down the central path. It looked fabulous and fed us (and the pollinators) well into November. Needless to say, this year’s has been in constant planning for months.

    1. That sounds fantastic. A few years, we had a class about planting a 3 sisters garden, which I found very interesting. I think that is something I will look into this year. I would love to hear more about 2021 garden plans.

  2. Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks for sharing your memories. They reminded me of when I was spending time with my Grandmother in Tennessee. She and my Grandfather had a wonderful garden, although sometimes I didn’t think it was so wonderful when I had to weed it and remove pesky bugs from the plant’s leaves. I did appreciate it at lunch and dinner time when the green beans and tomatoes were served. I really enjoyed the summers that I spent with them while I was growing up.


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