It’s late spring. Already? Hard to believe, isn’t it? Next week it will be summer! I live in the Midwest and get to experience the best of all seasons. That’s what I love about my home, just when you begin to tire of one season, it’s time for another. I love each season for different reasons. Springtime’s new bright green grass and budding out trees. Seeing that first flower bloom. My children’s excitement at spotting that first butterfly of the year, almost as if it’s the first they’ve ever seen!
Spring is time for renewal and preparation. In our home, it means looking ahead to our summer vegetable garden. During early spring I begin by starting tomato plants from seed. I know that I can easily buy plants at our local greenhouse or farmers’ market, but I took a liking to a particular variety of sauce tomato because of its very, very tiny seed cavity. It makes for great salsa and pizza sauce and holds up well when canned. I have not found anywhere to buy this plant variety, so to be sure I had a big enough harvest for all the canning I intend to do, I started almost 60 plants. Amazingly, only two didn’t sprout. Needless to say, I was thrilled!
Also in early spring we spread what chicken and rabbit manure we have accumulated on our garden. This gives it a bit of time to work into the soil. It may not be quite the right time according to someone else, but it has worked for us, and to me, that’s all that matters. Spring is also a good time to get cooler weather crops planted. This year we have snap peas, carrots, lettuce, and green onions. Once these are in, the remainder of the garden doesn’t get planted until the danger of frost is over; approximately May 15th in my area, but will differ depending on where you live.
When the time came, we added potatoes, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, cabbage plants, watermelon, okra, and my tomato plants. Everything has sprouted and appears to be doing well.
We have made a plan to weed the garden twice a week. It will be the job of my three boys and myself. They are actually very excited about this idea. The goal is to keep things from getting out of hand and help improve our harvest.
As we look forward to summer’s heat inducing growth, I am hopeful that we will be blessed with enough rain. Unfortunately, my hometown has suffered drought for about 3 summers in a row. We can water the garden, but in drought conditions it’s not practical. Plus rain water seems so much more beneficial. Do you agree? Everything just looks greener!
Here are a couple of snapshots of what the garden looks like today.
Pay no attention to the weeds, mother nature has been sending us perfectly timed rain that hasn’t allowed us to weed since last Tuesday. No complaining here though! But boy it will sure look better once we can step foot in there without coming out with shoes made of mud!
Gardening is a big part of my family’s summer, and I hope to keep you updated on the garden’s progress. I would absolutely love to hear about your garden. What are you raising this year? Anything new?
I personally can’t wait for that first, ripe tomato……..Mmmmm!
But for now we will weed and tend to the tender plants, look to the sky for the occasional rainfall, and wait for harvest time, praying that it will be abundant. Not just for me and my family, but also for the farming community we call home.