Planning the Spring Garden
GRASONVILLE, MD – Friday night – Since the temperatures were up in the 6o’s earlier this week, I finally sat down with all those wonderful seed catalogs that started arriving in January. I must get my orders sent in so I can get some of the seeds that will need to be started indoors. Here in Maryland we can’t plant until at least the first or second week of May. We can get a frost until mid-May. I love fresh peas and I never get them started early enough to have any in the garden. My goal this year is to harvest and eat fresh peas. As children, with our allowance, we would buy fresh peas and eat them right out of the pod. It is still the greatest treat to me and I have been known to buy 5 pounds of fresh peas and eat them all. (And yes, that many peas does give you a stomach ache!)
Anyhow, back to gardening – I went through the catalogs and picked out some vegetables and flowers I want to start from seed. I am not usually very successful starting plants by seed but I am going to try again this year. I like to buy transplants from herb catalogs and vegetable plants from the nursery. I did notice that buying seeds and transplants aren’t that different in price especially when a seed packet has thousands of seeds and I really don’t want more than one or so plants. So, I buy seeds for some of the vegetables and transplants for the herbs. There are many herbs I just want one of because they grow so big in the garden. That is the first step to planning my spring garden. The garden plot was prepared last fall and will be tilled in early May and compost added. So now, I just wait for the seeds to arrive in the mail.
Oh yeah, just one more thing, you have to make sure that you plant vegetables that you are actually going to eat and in quantities that are manageable. You know, if you have grown zucchini before, that you can be completely overwhelmed in zucchini very quickly and if your family doesn’t adore zucchini for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, then don’t plant it. I belong to a local CSA organic farm and we get wonderful and exotic veggies from the farm from May to October so we won’t plant the same vegetables that come from the farm. I chose for my garden – peas, green beans, parsnips, amaranth, fingerling potatoes, beets and a seed collection of small, baby vegetables called “A Baby Garden” featuring baby beets, baby carrots, baby eggplant, cherry tomates, baby romaine, baby cabbage and baby cucumbers.
This is just a start as I haven’t sat down with a piece of paper and decided how much I can fit into my garden and how many plants I want per vegetable. I will sit down and make up a garden plan. I plan to put some of the lettuces in containers and maybe some of the baby vegetables in containers. I put lettuce in containers last year and it did very well.
The herb garden had a hard year last year as it was a very dry spring and summer here in Maryland and it gets hot here. I lost a bunch of herb plants at home and at the studio. I am hoping for a wet spring so the herbs get a good start. I haven’t received the herb catalog as yet but it will arrive soon and I love pouring through it to discover wonderful new herb plants and some old favorites. I love to plant lovage, good king henry, chamomile, dill, basils, calendula, and I need to replace my rosemary which died last season. I love to cook and harvest herbs from my own garden. It is wonderful to have fresh herbs right outside my kitchen door to use to flavor my cooking, to garnish with edible flowers and to make herb vinegars, and flower arrangments throughout the summer. >>Candace