May is suddenly upon us, the time of year gardeners are itching to plant and start their growing quest of the perfect veggies. ( of course they strive for that but we all know perfect isn’t reachable). Just yesterday I passed by a farmer tilling his garden. I chuckled to myself, spotting high rubber boots and coveralls on him and the look of determination as he worked. He is the very first soul I’ve seen tilling this year and will stay in my thoughts through the season. Soon my husband will tread that slow, determined walk, slowly tilling our soil for rejuvenated rebirth.
Every year my ambitious gardening regiment commences with a visit to the metal file cabinet. You may wonder about this…file cabinet? Yes, pulling out my gardening brown paper folder is the first step. Tucked safely inside is last years plan. By perusing at the plot and position of vegetables, I’m making sure plants get shuffled. Because many plants deplete the soil of valuable nutrients, it’s wise to rotate crops.
It’s also paramount to practice religiously companion planting. Companion planting is the art of planting crops that grow well together, like tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers compliment each other. Peppers are companions with carrots, onions, eggplants and tomatoes. When you plant vegetables, make sure that you check what vegetables are toxic for each other such as peas with garlic and chives and avoid those placements. Sometimes veggies are not good neighbors and its up to you to learn which ones they are.
After I sketch my proposed garden it may change a few times before it is actually born. I have a right to change my mind, right? Then I browse the stores for organic seeds and start buying seeds for carrots, beans, lettuce, spinach or kale, radishes, herbs such as basil, oregano, chives, cilantro. Later this month I go to a nursery and shop for plants. The reason I do this is that New Hampshire growing season is short and I have to boost my time by buying saplings and love them tenderly to produce.
The nursery I love is about 45 minutes north of us, Sullivan’s Greenhouse in Lancaster, NH. The ride there( the back way) can be lovely by the river and peaceful. Everyone there is so happy and spirited and it turns out to be so much fun! You grab a cart and shop away, finding all your goodies. I also buy my annual flower plants there as well.
Lastly I usually wait until the first week of June to plant. If I plant too early, frost is likely and could kill my tender plants. By planting at this time, its just before school ends so within a week I can devote many hours to nurturing the garden. After all, this will be my family’s food for awhile…. some vibrant sun and cool rain showers, tender loving care and a little prayer will do wonders.
Have you planted your garden yet? What is your annual planting tradition?
All My Best,
Heart and Soul ❤️