Winter has been long and dark this year in our neck of the woods. I spent most of February and March laying on my back, napping and commiserating about the misery of my first trimester pregnancy feelings. Between the endless nausea, vomiting at the ready, narcoleptic sleep patterns and total lack of appetite, I had no energy for gardening.
As each week passed, I would moan about how far behind I was on the vegetable garden. There was the sorry state of our seeds (uh – none started), the lack of planning (I hadn’t figured anything out) and the feeling that May would be here before I could get off the couch or wake up. Then, a handful of nor-easters flew in, snow fell in late March, quarter-sized hail bombarded us in April and the month of April went down in the record books with the distinguished honor of the “rainiest month in Washington history”. The ground never dried out and the mud-pit that was our garden was certainly no place for seedlings, plants or me, for that matter. Gardeners countywide are four weeks behind schedule. I appreciate that my pregnancy ick fit in nicely with Mother Nature’s plan for when the vegetable gardening could begin!
Well, I’ve made up for lost time and the garden is in – well, mostly. The pictures below require your imagination as you picture the bounty that will be in June and July. I am hoping for a crazy nice Indian summer full of sunshine and warmth that lasts well into September. Sayonara first trimester sick and farewell long winter – bring on the spring and summer!
Our garden plan for this year. I am working to follow a more organized crop rotation plan for the vegetable garden. I am trying to be diligent about having crops follow each other in a set sequence that takes into account the crops mutually beneficial relationships. Here is a link to the seed varieties we ordered.
FYI: Potatoes do not play well with a crop rotation party. I am convinced that it’s nearly impossible to get all the potatoes out of the ground and since this how my garden rolls – I have potatoes coming up in their “2008 spot”, their “2009 spot” and their “2010 spot”. Love it… not!
I used to make the rookie mistake of doing my entire vegetable garden in one week. Not such a good idea unless you are looking for stunted corn, hoards of lettuce in a 10-day period and squash that squelches out all your other veggies that are just starting to growing. Here’s my outline of how I keep track of when seeds go in, when starts go in and what is needed the next week or two.
Pumpkins, pumpkins, squash and more pumpkins! We are the proud tenders of 25 pumpkins and squash plants that are planted throughout the garden, front yard, side yard, roof and ditch. Just kidding. We actually do have 25 plants in the ground, I am the only one tending them because Jacob is adamantly opposed to landscaping with pumpkins and I do limit our pumpkin “patch” to designated garden areas, albeit ALL garden areas.
The herb garden we used to have on our porch has been changed to a “culinary herb” garden. It’s just the stuff you want to grab out the kitchen window and throw into dish you are whipping up. There are two kinds of oregano, thyme, curled and flat leaf parsley, basil and strawberries (for Beckett!).
Onions and lettuce. The onion and lettuce plants are Barbie sized right now, but I am hoping with a bit more sunshine and less rain they’ll start to take off. Onions have become my new favorite garden crop. They are easy to grow (when there’s sunshine) and they are one of the most useful storage vegetables to have around over winter. Plus, they take up no garden space at all.
And, then there’s the stuff you can’t see. Close your eyes after you read this and imagine. The seeds are there and the seedlings are peeking, but the pictures would be nothing worthy of a blog post.
- Green beans – royal purple and provider
- Broccoli – de cicco
- Carrots – scarlet nantes and little finger
- Bunching Onions
What’s growing in your garden? Has spring arrived yet for you? If so, don’t tell me, it’ll make me jealous. Just kidding.