Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Garden Time!

Between being really busy with work, homeschool and activities, and the weather not cooperating, we've gotten a very late start on our garden this year. But... we had a day off for Patriot's Day on Monday, so we designated it as Garden Day. It was a gorgeous day, warm and breezy, and it felt so wonderful to be digging in the dirt.

We did get quite a lot done, though not as much as I'd hoped. In addition to planting a bunch of seeds (peas, potatoes, carrots, beets, Swiss chard and spinach) we also moved a Japanese Maple out to make room for two blueberry bushes that needed to be moved to a sunnier spot. I also did some tidying up (some stuff I should have done last fall... oops!) and prepped a couple of other beds which will be planted in the next week or two.

We still have much to do in the coming weeks. Our vegetable garden consists of seven 6 foot by 8 foot raised beds. We also have a raised strawberry bed which is near some raspberry canes. Along one side, we have a border of flowers, to encourage native pollinators. Between our garden area and our patio, we have a border of perennial herbs, which, unfortunately, did not fare so well during our long, cold winter. We will have to replant most of those herbs, I fear. We will also soon be planting our seeds for sunflowers, summer squashes, winter squashes, cucumbers, beans and lettuces. Finally, we'll be transplanting the seeds we started inside (kale, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers) and we'll be getting some starts from the garden center for tomatoes and annual herbs.

Growing a garden of this size is a fair amount of work, but it's such satisfying work, which reaps huge rewards. There is nothing better than stepping out the back door and getting fresh produce from your own garden for dinner. Even the children love to go out and pick a salad for lunch. Growing a veggie garden is also frugal. Although there are up-front costs in getting it started, the amount of food we get in the end more than justifies the cost. On a good year, we end up with fresh food to eat every day, as well as having enough leftover to can and freeze for the colder months.

Today it's raining... a warm, spring rain, soaking the ground and helping the seeds grow. Tomorrow's forecast shows sunny skies, 58 degrees. I'm grateful for these perfect garden-growing conditions.
The blank slate of our garden... waiting for plants.

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