Planting Weekend In Review

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?

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15 thoughts on “Planting Weekend In Review

  1. I’ve just started my first garden this year. I thought I would start small, so I’ve just got green beans, onions, peas and carrots in a few raised beds. I’m looking forward to the green beans but it appears something is eating at them. What do you do with insects eating your garden? Is there a non chemical solution?

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    • We haven’t had many problems with insects the last few years. The solution would depend on what’s eating them. We had Japanese beetles (not the ladybug look-alikes, a shiny one) on our beans and last time we used Sevin. Not exactly non-chemical, and we’ll probably re-think that with the kiddos now. I did some googling on Japanese beetles and hand-picking seems to be most effective. Mother Earth News said having nesting pairs of bluebirds or robins around is effective control because they feed them to their young. We’ve had 4 bluebird houses up the last few years, I wonder if that’s why we haven’t had problems as of late.

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  2. It was great to find you earlier today Kimberly in the WP community pool. But with this amazing blog I’m , more apt to say I found you in the “community garden”.

    We have a half an acre with out house. I used to have a much bigger garden, but we are in a little village which is overrun with rabbits who pretty much clean up the seedlings when they sprout up through the ground. My sister has an acreage further out in the country but has no problem with rabbits, the foxes keep them under control.

    So I usually just now plant about a dozen tomato’s, a seed pack of cucumbers (I cover the hills with a clear plastic over a tomato cage for protection) and a few hot peppers. I am in a low lying area which is susceptible to frosts up to the 2nd week of June, so I usually wait. There are some wonderful local hobby farm gardeners who sell their surplus organic produce at the door. So wonderful to support local.

    I grew up on a mixed farm. I really miss this way of life. I have been looking at properties for years and prices seem to be getting steeper all the time.

    This is an amazing garden Kimberly. Do you sell the surplus? It will be fun seeing updates on how your garden is progressing! 🙂

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    • We can most of our produce. We actually cut back on tomatoes a little this year, 8 plants down from the 12 we had last year, but we’ve had as many as 20 in years past. Our families visit on occasion and we let them raid our garden. The pumpkins we did sell commercially through a local convenience store, we weren’t planning on doing that again this year but we have far too many for us and our families so we’ll see what ultimately ends up happening with that. We’ve never done sweet corn before, so that’s a new adventure.

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