And They’re Off! Mostly…..

….Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, and a great majority of it was spent out in the gardens, putting in the plants. Here’s what went in this weekend:

Tomatoes (Early Girl, Sungold, Brandywine)
Eggplants (Dusky, Black Beauty)
Peppers (red & green)
Summer squash
Green beans

This is a shot of the main garden this morning:

Last weekend I planted
Carrots (Adelaide)
Lettuce (Romaine)

And so far, nothing’s happening.  If I remember correctly from last year, germination for the carrots and lettuce takes a bit of time, and the potatoes and shallots are, you guessed it, another one of our experiments.

We’re still waiting for some of our seedlings to be big enough to transplant.  Some of them have started to develop their true leaves, but it still might be several weeks before they’re ready to be moved.  Fortunately, most of them will be going in the herb bed and will eventually be covered with a cold frame, prolonging their growing season:

Strawberries (Alpine)

My Home Depot strawberries are doing beautifully.  They have already produced some berries that are turning red.  I have a long way to go before I’ll be making jam, however.  I am hoping to keep the chipmunk away from them.  The garden is fenced, but he’ll probably just see that as another challenge.

Tonight we’re going to start the pumpkins and watermelon, and maybe the corn.  Plowing the back-40 field has not been easy – there have been many stops and starts, much to J’s frustration.  It might be another week or two before that field is ready to go.  So we’re going with plan B and starting the seeds indoors.  They germinate quickly, meaning that we aren’t going to lose much time by having to delay our in the ground planting by another week or two.

That photo of the main garden amazes me.  When we first decided to plant that space three years ago, we originally guessed we could get four rows across the narrow part of the garden.  (In some cases we did, but we had to switch down to three rows in many places.)  Now we’re doing just two, with a path up the middle.  I am looking forward to being able to move more easily through the garden this year.

Denial – Not Just a River in Egypt

You should know that right now I have four beautiful strawberry plants, and that I’m enjoying fresh strawberries right now.

The plants are from Home Depot.
The strawberries are from the supermarket.

Over Easter my mother-in-law told me that I wouldn’t have strawberries this year.  She is obviously unaware that I am willing to think outside the box to achieve my goals.

Speaking of boxes, this past weekend was our big gardening weekend where we built the raised beds we needed to expand our garden. 

And by “we” I mean J, who built the beds, and the two of us filled them with the dirt I had delivered.  Three yards of it.  Which is a lot of dirt.  It was so much dirt, I swear it was multiplying as we pulled away from the pile with another load in the trailer.  Like the rototillers, but with less rust.  The rototiller worked great, by the way:

At one point, it tilled up a rock the size of a soccer ball, so we added it to the wall.  Way easier than digging it out of the ground by hand!  (Which we would have done, had we known it was there.)  While we were working on the main garden, it tilled up a brick.  Other than a really loud clanging noise, the tiller just kept going.  But if it hadn’t, hey, we have a spare!

There was so much dirt J built me a third raised bed, to be dedicated exclusively to growing herbs.  I was so excited I went out and bought more seeds.  And then started plotting the construction of a cold frame, something I have been intrigued by for years.  Don’t ask me why; it’s not like I can’t get fresh herbs at the store in November.  I suspect it’s because it feels like it’s pulling one over on Mother Nature who sometimes dings the gardens with a killing frost before the end of September and then hits us with warm sunny days for several weeks in October, as if to taunt us.

We were, of course, properly monitored all weekend:

He had no complaints about our work, except that it kept us from scratching his ears as much as he would have liked.