Perfect weather gets garden off to great start

Well, I did it. Took the plunge.

20120422-191531.jpg Planted some lettuce, peas and onions today.

And you know what that means — the tiller made its first appearance of the year. For the second year in a row, it started easily, and in no time at all I was turning over the soil. Saturday afternoon was perfect gardening weather. It was only in the low- to mid-50s, but it was sunny and there was little wind. In no time at all, the sweatshirt came off and I was breaking up the soil and loosening the weeds left over from last fall. (Photo at right was actually taken Sunday, when it was windier and a bit cooler than Saturday.)

It took about an hour to till the garden; then I turned to raking up the bigger chunks of weeds that I was too lazy to pull up last year, as well as the clumps of grass that seem to keep coming back despite the sod being pulled three springs ago. Will they ever go away?

I knew when I started raking that I’d have to do another round of tilling to remove the clumps of grass I couldn’t pull up by hand. But the funny thing is, it was OK — I wasn’t worried that I’d have to work all afternoon and into the evening to get it done. Because I planned a bit (one of my goals this summer), I didn’t have to till, rake AND plant all in the same day.

And while I was a bit stiff for several hours after I put the tiller back in the garden shack, I wasn’t sore at all when I woke up this morning. Talk about different from past years, when I would barely be able to get out of bed the next day because of the 10-hour day I’d subject my body to in order to get everything done. Not only that, but I was able to see “The Hunger Games” with Randy and Cassie AND have a nice dinner out. And it still was only 8 p.m. when we got home! Hmmm, I think there really is something to this “planning” thing!

Anyway, I

20120422-191548.jpgwent into today knowing I just wanted to till the garden one last time and plant a few rows of lettuce, peas and onions. I still have mixed feelings about planting so early — the forecast still has a few pretty cold nights the next week or so, but I finally decided there wasn’t really any reason not to go for it. After all, what did I have to lose? A couple bucks for the seed packets? Even if they don’t come up, I can just replant when it does get a bit warmer. And if they do come up, we’ll enjoy fresh lettuce, peas and onions several weeks sooner than we have in past years. Doesn’t seem like I can go wrong. (Above photo: It doesn’t look like much now, but lettuce, peas and onions are planted between the stones — my version of garden markers — in the upper right corner of the garden.)

I also made another decision today — not to ring the garden in marigolds. I’ve written before that I’ve done this as a deterrent to deer who like to munch on my garden goodies, but I’m going to try a slightly different approach this year. Rather than ringing the entire garden in marigolds, I’m just going to put them in certain spots spread throughout the garden. I’m also going to plant the shorter variety of marigolds in lieu of the 2 to 3-foot high ones I’ve planted

20120422-191624.jpg the past three years. Time will tell if I’ve made the right decision.

More good news this week: Randy pulled up the sod beneath the clothesline for the flower garden — with a shovel. “I don’t need no stinkin’ sod-cutter,” he said. “I’ll just dig it out by hand.” He did it between the raindrops on his week off, and although he’s got a sore back to show for it, I’m extremely grateful! (Above photo: Vegetable garden is in far distance, flower garden closer.)

Still waiting: A few more tulips are showing signs of color. None of them have flowered completely, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will happen soon.

2 responses to this post.

  1. You and your gardens are sure off to a good start, congrats. Did the marigolds keep the deer out of your garden? Looking forward to reading about your garden progress.

    • Yes Norma, the marigolds did a pretty good job keeping the deer out. That and a concoction of water, raw eggs, dish soap and milk. It stunk like crazy and I don’t think any of the animals liked it.

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