May 9, 2016

The Garden is Planted!

The garden is planted! Mike (and Oliver!) did most of the work. I was there in a more in a supervisor capacity and did a little bit of planting but no heavy lifting. At 38 weeks it felt like a huge accomplishment to bend over and plant a few pumpkin seeds with Oliver. We broke the process up into several days - one day to turn and mix the dirt in the beds, another day to pick up new hoses (we lost one soaker hose and our big hose last summer) and set them up, a trip to the nursery for basil and marigolds, a couple of days to plant the seeds and plants. We've had a lot of wet weather so we had to squeeze things in when we could - it took a while, but I'm glad it's done!

As I mentioned back in my Garden Planning post, this year we're doing a simplified version of the garden - just a few favorites to tide us over. Being hugely pregnant at planting time and then juggling a newborn all summer, we are giving ourselves a break.

Herbs and Carrots Bed
The oregano and thyme were transferred from last year's herb bed to this year's. I'm amazed that they are able to come back year after year despite some harsh winters! This year our winter was so mild - I don't think the thyme has ever been so big! We also planted basil in this bed and a couple rows of carrots for fun. Originally I had thought we might do lettuce and onions, but I ran out of energy after planting the onions. Next year we'll circle back to lettuce, beans, peas and chard as well.

Tomato Bed
The tomatoes we started from seed back in March were planted with marigolds (for protection). The plants have been hardening off for almost two weeks outside (slowly building up resistance to wind, sunshine and outdoor temperatures). This year we're only doing eight, and half of them are prolific and easy cherry and yellow pear tomatoes. The others are easy to grow early girl, beefsteak, bushsteak and roma plum. Next year we'll go back to 12 and include some of my favorite heirlooms again.

Vine Bed
We planted cucumbers to go up the trellis because cucumbers from the garden are my second most favorite thing after tomatoes and I couldn't go a summer without them. We're skipping melons, squash and zucchini this year because they tend to be more high maintenance and instead are experimenting with mini pumpkins just for fun. (We heard they are fairly easy to grow, even by accident with minimal interference, so we thought it would be worth a try and fun for a preschooler!)

Flower Bed
Mostly zinnias (using zinnia seed tape which makes planting a cinch!) and just a few dahlias went into the flower bed this year. Zinnias really do provide the best return on investment once they get going - you get gorgeous flowers all summer until frost and they are so easy to grow!

Mike also planted the rest of our dahlia bulbs in the garden beds of our backyard so I wouldn't have to bend or worry about the bulbs dying from skipping a planting season. Plus he knows how much I love dahlias and will enjoy looking at them all summer as they bloom.

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