As soon as the snow melts each year we look forward to this weekend with anticipation and excitement… because… IT’S TIME TO PLANT THE GARDEN!!!
I went to the greenhouse early Saturday morning to beat the rush. I got there about 10 minutes after it opened and there were already a good number of people there. I picked out my flowers (not too many, remember the 150 or so bulbs I planted) then I scoped out the herbs and picked out a few of those for my “tippy herb tower.” I got my tomatoes, peppers, brussels sprouts, and cabbage and not long after I was on my way home!
My husband had tilled up the garden a few weeks ago and put up the trellis for the cucumbers (at the far left) so it was all ready for me:
I started at the back right, leveling the soil with my rake then putting in my rows. My rows run left to right and are about 14 feet long. Once the rows were done I put in the plants I had bought that morning. We haven’t gotten any rain for well over a week and the soil was extremely dry, so I gave it a good watering once everything was in.
Here’s the rundown of what I planted:
I didn’t actually buy any seeds this year, everything was left over from years prior. Since you don’t want to see a photo of a bunch of torn-open seed packets, here’s a list of varieties that I direct seeded:
Green Beans – Bush Blue Lake 274 – 3 rows
Cilantro – Santo – half row
Dill – Bouquet – half row
Basil – Italian Large Leaf – half row
Scallion – Evergreen Bunching – half row
Kale – Dwarf Siberian – half row
Carrot – Imperator 58 – half row
Lettuce – Quattro Stagioni – 1 row
Cucumber – English Telegraph – 1 row
Zucchini – Tondo di Picasenza – 1 mound
Cantaloupe – Tasty Bites – 1 mound
Sunday morning I put in tomato cages and stakes around all the tomato plants and smaller cages around the peppers. To keep the weeds down I also put down a layer of newspaper…
…and my husband later added a layer of straw. The paper and straw is something new we’re trying this year. I’ll be adding another bale to the main path, behind the cucumber trellis, and in the near left corner of the garden where the cabbages and mounds are. We’re hoping it will keep weeding to a minimum so we can spend our time doing other things this summer.
Then another nice long drink. Although the soil was incredibly dry to start out with, over the years we’ve added a lot of organic matter to our garden soil so it holds the moisture really well once it is watered.
Here is my tippy herb tower, just outside my back door, in my little garden patch that has turned into a mess of mint. From bottom to top I’ve got oregano, marjoram, tarragon, rosemary, and thyme. I always wanted to plant more herbs but I have a hard time finding a spot for them. This was the perfect solution!
Over the course of the last week we also planted the field. We can’t call it the pumpkin patch this year because only about a third of it is pumpkins (To my family: Don’t worry, there are still a couple hundred plants, there will be plenty of pumpkins for you). The rest is sweet corn. We’ve never planted corn before, so we have three different varieties with different maturities – Incredible, Bodacious, and Trinity (To my family: You’ll probably be getting a lot of corn, too).
For the pumpkins we stuck with our favorite “Mr. Wrinkles” but decided to give “Lanky Leon” a shot as well. Our mini pumpkins this year are the “Hooligans,” the orange, white, and green mottled ones. There are also about a dozen spaghetti squash seeds planted somewhere in there. At least there are supposed to be… I maybe shouldn’t have left that task to the guy who hates spaghetti squash.
Here is a photo of the field. Hopefully in a few weeks it will be lush and green. That dark blue dot towards in the middle is my husband with the row planter, putting in pumpkin seeds.
I even did some work in the flower beds this weekend (in other words, I finally got some weeding done). After all that, I’m exhausted and a little sore. The weather forecast says we’ve got a pretty good chance of rain starting this evening and lasting through the rest of the week. If that pans out, our garden and field should be off to a great start!
I think I’m most excited for cucumbers, peppers, and having fresh herbs to cook with. Also, we’ll be having fresh lettuce in just a few weeks!
How about you? Did you do any gardening this weekend? What did you plant that you are most excited about?