It is already May and this is, from what I can remember, the FIRST of my gardening posts. To be very transparent here, I had a bad case of winter blues that prevented me from getting excited about this new gardening season.
After finding out in the fall that we would not be allowed to buy this property after all, we wondered if we ought to stay here and continue to rent or if we ought to buy a different place right away and start our NEW lives (again), or if we ought to tread water for a while. Not an easy decision to make for anyone, but for people who like to live (at least partly) off the land, it is made 100x more complex.
Should we continue with animals just to later have the burden and expense of relocating them?
Should we go ahead and invest in perennial plants, knowing we won't be here much longer?
Should we bother planting a garden this spring even if we may be leaving by harvest time?
Because we didn't know the answers to whether we would be staying or leaving-buying somewhere else or (for the time being) renting here, I didn't know the answers to the garden questions either.
So winter passed and I took no delight in planning and dreaming about orchards, gardens, or herbs. I didn't bury myself in seed catalogs (as I usually do) and I avoided seed starting until it was too late.
Of course, I should have known I can't just NOT garden, it is now a part of me~ of who I am. So, even without knowing what is in store for the rest of the year, I decided to go ahead with the garden on faith that regardless of what happens, it will be worth it.
I had to BUY all 50 of our tomato plants and all 20 some of our pepper plants.
This, my friends, is NOT a good feeling when you know you can get the same amount of fabulous plants from a $1.66 seed packet if you are on the ball with seed starter and peat pots around mid-March.
But I am thankful (very) for not having to turn and reposition 50 teensy, sideways growing seedlings every day all winter long too.
Many a prayer has been offered up to keep the Blight FAR AWAY from us this year, after having our tomato/potato crop totally devastated by it last year.
Especially since the tomatoes did not cost $1.66 this year, but over $20.00. ouch
I put the garden in (or part of it, anyway) on my birthday, after a morning of yard saling. After all the tomato plants were in I felt myself fading. Matt helped with the peas (getting a late start on those) while I rested and then I finished up on the pepper plants, basil and a few flowers (birthday presents from my mother-in-law.)
I was TOAST when it was all said and done. I had done only the PLANTS (no seeds) and could have collapsed into bed to hibernate for a week.
WHY do I always think I can get the whole garden planted in a day? I should know better by now...
Of the tomato plants, we have:
- Early Girl
- Yellow Jubilee
- Roma (lots)
- Large Cherry
- Sweet Italian
- Bells: orange, red, green and purple
- and something else that I forget. oops
- Little Marvels
- Sugar snaps
- Progress #9s
- Oregon Sugar Pods
I also planted a few perennials/herbs/flowers that I bought at a local church plant sale.
*** For those of you who have never done this before-you MUST. Keep your eyes open for signs, it is worth it! What a fabulous way to get cheap plants! Church members thin out their gardens of perennials, pot them and sell them for a buck each (or so) to benefit the church.***
I got perennials like:
...all for $2.00 a pot. The greenhouse sells them for $8.00 a pot.
I got the herbs:
...all for $1.00 a pot. The greenhouse sells them for $2.49 a pot.
I created an herb pot for the herbs (in hopes to take them with us when we leave, whenever we do) and I planted the perennial flowers in my cutting garden area along with zinnias, in hopes to bring them too. If nothing else, maybe I will have some lovely summer bouquets or butterfly visitors to enjoy this year.
Last fall we were given some strawberry starts from friends, which I planted in a bed that was already prepared.
They are doing marvelously.
I am SO STINKIN' EXCITED for our own strawberries. We will likely have to still go picking to "put up" some strawberry goods, but these plants will be a boon for our appetites.
Unfortunately, peas and strawberries were NOT on my growing list last year and the tomato plants I somehow squashed into one bed last year, really needed two this year, leaving me with less than HALF the growing space I had last year for the rest of my planned garden.
Yikes. This is not good.
I still have beets, potatoes, summer squash, winter squash, beans, pumpkins, and brussel sprouts to grow.
I will not plant corn because a neighbor does that by the acre and does very well with it, so I will support him and save myself the space.
And yes- I know that many of those are the things that take up the most space, thankyouverymuch.
The children have already planted their KINDER garden with onions, peas and cherry tomatoes.
I am sure Matt will hate to hear this, but I think one tire is entirely insufficient for them. They keep wanting to plant more and more plants, seeing all the space in the dirt (not accounting for the plants to actually GROW, I guess) and I feel so bad! They each need their OWN tire, methinks.
But that is a project for another year and a permanent home.