Two weeks ago my husband and I planted our annual vegetable garden. It was quite a project and took longer than we expected. As the sun warmed the earth, there was that sticky change in the air. It was the distinct sign of rain, as bugs went crazy in our face and nibbled at our exposed ears. Although our bout with the annoying insects drove us crazy and tried our patience, we still persevered at our gardening task with a farmer’s steadfast determination.
My husband and I are quite a team because we work together in tandem like a well oiled machine, but we should, as we have been doing this for a few years now. It’s our fourth year planting here at our home overlooking our pond. Before that we worked and enjoyed a vegetable plot for sixteen years. It’s just what we do in June with persistent faith in what will grow. Tom raked the rows and I planted the seeds and plants. After it all was planted and marked, we watered the rows for the first time.
Here we are immersed in the June season…a time to start anew and plant in hopes of mother nature’s cooperation. It’s a rush to plant because if you wait until now it may be too late. The growing season is so short lived here that time is of the essence. I always start the first weekend of June for I fear the weather will have a frost or my delicate saplings won’t make the cold weather. So we plant hurriedly in hopes of a harvest in July, August and September depending on what vegetables they are.
A New England tip for gardener’s is to not only sow seeds but buy or start plants for a head start. I don’t have a sun room or anything ideal to start seeds in February, although a greenhouse would be nice someday! Buying started vegetable plants boosts your garden and you will harvest much quicker than if you started planting seeds. Some veggies grow super fast, so those you can sow seeds and it’s fine. They are green beans, carrots, spinach and lettuce, herbs, and radishes to name a few. I always choose tomato, squash, cucumber and eggplant plants so that I can harvest in June for the cukes and August and September for the rest.
In previous years my dad always has his ground seeds planted by mid May while my plot hasn’t even been tilled yet! The amazing thing is that he lives even more north of me and has different weather but it seems to always work out for him. I have to remember that he’s retired as well and has more time on his hands than me! This year he has a little greenhouse with shelves in it to grow veggies in containers and then he’s placing the containers outside where his garden was. I wish him well with his new system and there will be less weeds doing it this way.
This year we had a deluge of rain, raining just about every day and as that happened, our brook bordering our woods was churning and bubbling fast because of all the water rush. I hoped that our seeds wouldn’t rot in all the muck but with wishful thinking and the warm sun pulling its weight now, it all will be fine.
Gardening takes lots of patience…patience for it to happen on it’s terms and not yours. Here it’s been two weeks since I planted and little has changed with the plants, although most planted seeds have sprouted from the earth. I can continuously check every day like an anxious elementary child who has sown her bean seed in a little cup. Even so, if I constantly watch for some growth, it’s definitely not going to speed up it’s progress.
This year our vegetable garden includes corn, green beans, carrots, two kinds of cucumbers ( straight 8’s and pickling), beets, spinach, Swiss chard, lettuce, basil, thyme, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, buttercup squash, zucchini and summer squash, tomatoes ( cherry and early girl), and marigolds lined up as soldiers to ward off the pests.
Have you planted your garden yet? What did you plant for your family and friends? I wish you many harvested goodies from your countless hours of gardening! The pure gift of sunshine and freshly fallen rain helps a bunch and a never ending faith of what will be.
I don’t know about you, but the first few weeks of spring I walk around my flower beds and pull annoying weeds that pop up. It’s a gardener’s priority, a dreaded but necessary chore. I know it’s part of the game but if you refuse to play or can’t keep up, they overtake a space. Although it’s a pain and annoying, I’ve learned that there are tricks you can practice such as laying newspapers or mats down with mulch on top or in the veggie garden, you can till around the rows and merely weed around the plants.
Lo and behold, these guys squeezed through!
Here’s my patch of weeds that I was going to pull this week.
Every year we’ve been here, I’ve pulled them before they got too big.
weeds or not…
adorable tiny flowers emerged after a rainstorm the other day.
God’s little gift and a true reminder
that weeds are beautiful too
and maybe sometimes there’s plenty of room for them!
Welcome to the flighty days of spring, where only in New England there can be a cold rainy day in the 40’s and the very next day a drastic surge to 90 degrees with sweaty hot heat ( this happened to us this week and it was a shock!) While most of us expect crazy weather here, it still caught us off guard. One day the inside heat was blaring and the next, windows were wide open and fans were tirelessly cranking. It’s also a wardrobe nightmare. The dilemma is what do I wear to work from one day to the next? Long sleeve and pants one day and short sleeves and capris the next.
In this enchanted season, our dark green grassy lawns thrive and all around apple blossoms paint a pretty pink scene! Not only does the beauty appeal to the eye, but heavenly aroma lingers as I walk by. Our cherry tree sports lovely white blossoms and since it’s grown close to our house, I can enjoy it with a mere glance out the living room window or on a trek on the front lawn. They won’t last long and before I know it, just leaves will exist on the tree’s frame, yet twittering beautiful little birds will perch among the greenery.
Spring is here and nature’s precious blossoms and buds dominate our little world. On our front lawn we have two lilac trees. One was planted many years ago and greeted us when we moved in. It faces the roadside and much too close to the edge. Unfortunately one winter a snow plow accidentally cut it up. Tom cut back some limbs and happily nursed it back to health. That guy has a special way with things in nature! Now, a couple of years later it’s bouncing back! Rich and healthy leaves are lush and it seems ready to blossom once again. A few small blossoms are appearing, so there’s hope for future lilacs.
Our second tree stands on our front lawn as well, but faces the adjoining road( not as close as the other one.) We planted it a couple of years ago, a present from a person who Tom works for. This tree grows dark purple flowers, much darker than the other tree. The lilacs are slowly opening up to the hearty sunshine and a faint smell is a pleasant gift. In a week the tree should have several lilacs here and there, appealing to bees and birds.
Although we truly enjoy and adore the lilacs, one drawback is that they don’t seem to last here long. I’m not sure if that’s my doing and I should try to prevent that by using Miracle Grow to increase their blooming. Last year we had them about three short weeks and then a raging rain storm hit our region and knocked every lilac flower down. The tree was a naked sight and it was sorrowful that it ended so soon.
This year it’s been about a week of purple buds and every day they pop up more. Just when we get to see to their delight, they’re gone! It’s one of those fast and fleeting entities, something we must cherish every moment until their time is up. In early evenings after supper, I enjoy walking the lawn and eyeing these flowers. With a chilled glass of wine in hand, I value this time on our lot and continue to thank God for blessing us with it.
As spring marches on, my mind wanders to my future window boxes filled with flowers and of course, my veggie garden. Within the next week I’ll be visiting Sullivan’s Greenhouse for my annual flower and veggie shop. Things will start to happen and with the promise of warmer weather comes my planting work in the early days of June ( not really work though because it’s a joy of mine).
I also plan to extend my front flower gardens to wrap around the house to the front of our kitchen. I would like to pick out a hydrangea tree or bush, false sunflowers and purple cone flowers. Hopefully it will be a beautiful mix of yellow, white and purple flowers. That will be mid- June and like my spare bedroom project, when they are complete, I’ll post results.
I hope you are thoroughly enjoying whatever season you are immersed in and that you cherish the fleeting moments. As always, thank you for stopping by!
In New England we are immersed in the dawning of spring…forgotten melted snow, sporadic warm sun and plenty of rain showers are here. The plant buds are waking up and grass is turning a rich green in our neighborhood. With this season we read about gardening plans highlighted in ads and in newspapers, making it extremely easy to become excited and enchanted with gardening!
The first of May is pretty early to plant here unless you’re doing it inside with a greenhouse room or under a bright heat lamp. But the first few weeks of this month is a good time to reflect on last year’s garden and what went well and not so well.
In late March or early April, I start to contemplate my garden. It all starts with jotting down vegetables and planning what different ones I’ll try. Every year I change up my squash variety so that our family harvests something different. Last year I grew butternut squash and summer. This summer I may grow summer, zucchini, and buttercup, shaped like a queen’s crown. I decided to daringly skip the zucchini deluge last year( see another post about this).
I must mention that if you are an amateur gardener you must read up on plant companions and crop rotation. Certain crops grow well together like tomatoes and basil cucumbers and spinach and lettuce. If you search on Pinterest or Google for vegetable gardening companions you can learn more information about it. I also rotate my crop every year, because some vegetables drain all the nutrients out of the soil and so switching their locations is a bright idea. I never plant tomatoes or the squash in the same place.
A drastic change in this year’s garden will be the long lost corn. My husband and I decided about twelve years ago not to plant it anymore and I bet you can guess why not. When we grew corn, we had raccoons and deer eating from the cobs and that would leave us with the just the corn stalks for October decorating. The mere stalk doesn’t seem worth all the trouble and it’s a huge disappointment when you’re expecting scrumptious corn smothered with butter and salt.
This year we’re trying to grow corn once again, with some tips taken from my dad, who’s an avid gardener and was influenced from my grandfather. My dad uses a screen attached at the top of the fence that keeps critters out. He did the enclosure last year and had success with it.
As our region experiences a rebirth in spring and the air becomes warmer, I’m grateful for it all. My garden is so short lived here, making it special. Immersed in soil and surrounded by green lush leaves, I thank God for being able to garden every summer.
During the year I work/ teach at school and have the summers off. I’ve always asked my husband if I should get a little part time job but he says that I don’t have to. I am grateful for this time and for my husband, who works all year round for us. I make it up to him by caring for him in the house, growing veggies, cooking and taking care of the house. He’s happy and I’m happy to be home for the summer and it allows me to tend to our vegetable plot and flower boxes. That’s how a mutual respectful relationship works.
Are you planning your garden or have you planted already? If so, I hope you are enjoying your planning as much as I am! Happy planting!