GARDEN PLANTING TIME
It’s time to plant the garden. I never seem to find the time to clean up the garden beds in the fall. But it is on my list. I’ve spent a few weekends trying to weed out the cheatgrass and other obnoxious weeds. We’ve had quite a bit of rain this spring. Maybe it just seems that way since it only manages to rain on the weekends when I have time to do homestead stuff. The plus side of all the rain is it makes it a lot easier to pull out the weeds.
This year the weeds were so bad they had grown quite a network of roots on top of the weed barrier. I thought I was going to have to pull the weed barrier out and start fresh. After being out there recently, it seems a lot easier to pull out the roots. Thank you rain! I hate tossing out perfectly good dirt.
The Boy Scout troop that Desert Son belonged to has an annual plant sale to raise funds for camping trips. I love getting my plants from them. It was always a plus when Desert Son was still in Scouts (recent Eagle Scout and high school graduate) and the percentage of what I purchased went into his account for future events. Luckily I still have contacts now that he is no longer participating in Scouts.
I usually order way more plants than I could possibly plant. I gamble on the side that a) I might not actually be able to get everything I ordered and b) some of the plants are going to die before I actually get them planted. Tomatoes and peppers are at the top of the list. I love to can paste tomatoes. Even though I’ve never been able to get a large enough quantity to can, I still hold on to hope. This will be the year. The paste tomatoes are the only tomato plants that are put in the garden bed. The rest of the tomatoes are planted in containers. In years past, I’ve put the peppers in containers as well. I might try them in the garden beds this year. I’ve been toying with the idea of actually using the book I have on square foot gardening this year.
I also purchased sunflowers, zucchini, lavender, artichoke, spaghetti squash, pumpkins, and watermelon plants. Although I’ve yet to be successful with zucchini because of the squash bugs, I’m optimistic this year. Those squash bugs are going to become treats for the chickens! I also have a lot of seeds left over that I ordered from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds a couple years ago. Unfortunately, due to my time management (or procrastination) problem, I didn’t get any of them started inside. I use the personalized planting reminders from the Farmer’s Almanac to tell me when to plant. Luckily I can still plant a lot of my seeds outside. Just as soon as I get all the weeds pulled. I was pulling weeds this weekend right up until the rain came.
Update…when I first wrote this it was time to plant the garden. Now we’re about a month out from the time I drafted this post. Sadly, the sunflowers, zucchini, spaghetti squash, pumpkins and watermelon plants all died before I could get them planted. I ended up buying replacements for the zucchini, pumpkin, and watermelon. This year I thought I’d try my hand at growing cauliflower and Brussels sprouts as well. Oh, and Desert Daughter wanted a jalapeno pepper plant too. One of my beds has chocolate mint in it. I thought it would be a good idea to plant strawberries in the same bed. We’ve had strawberries in the past that I started in pots. They ended up spreading to the ground and are running wild!
© 2016 by Marge Fox