Spring is well advanced in this part of the United States, and that means gardening. And mowing the lawn, which I should do today, but mostly gardening.
It looks like we’ll be in this house for another year, barring either disaster or extreme good fortune on the level of winning the lottery, so I can take advantage of our relative stability to start my own seeds and plant things I didn’t plant last year. I can also grumble at my lack of foresight- since I didn’t know if we were going to stay another year, I didn’t plant blackberries last summer, or garlic in the fall, because I didn’t think I’d get to enjoy them, and money’s too tight to buy them for the next tenant. Though I did purchase some lily-of-the-valley that probably won’t bloom until next spring, on the logic that I might see it; it’s not expensive; and since it spreads, I only needed a few roots to make a nice little patch of it.
In any case, most of my gardening is done with vegetables and fast-growing flowers. I started tomatoes and peppers from seed last week. The peppers haven’t germinated yet, but the tomatoes are about an inch tall and doing nicely. I’ll probably bite the bullet and buy basil plants, since starting herbs from seed is dicey if you don’t have a heat mat, which I don’t (I also don’t have a place to put it, but that’s another story).
A lot of vegetables can be direct-sown, and that was yesterday’s project. I’ve been revamping the raised beds to make them sturdier, and now that one is relatively square, plumb, and level, I finally sowed lettuce, radishes (mostly to help keep insects away from everything else), peas, and carrots. I also have sixty onion sets that need a place to land, and some rocket and kale that should go in before it gets too hot. Or those can wait for fall, when I attempt broccoli (I have trouble with brassicas in general, which is a pity because I love to eat them).
Around the middle of May, I’ll be able to set out tomatoes, peppers, basil, and cucumbers. I have to restrain myself from putting them out earlier, because I live in a continental climate, and the ‘last frost date’ is a guess rather than a logical prediction.
Whenever I start thinking I’ve waited too long to plant, I remind myself that I didn’t get around to planting anything until the second half of June last year (we only moved in the first week of June) and the garden did well enough, so as long as I haven’t waited that long, I’m ahead of the game.
Do you garden? What are you planting this year? Are you experimenting with any new varieties?