Spring is Bustin' Out All Over

Check out my new neighbors! 

These little guys arrive yesterday morning and are about the sweetest things you ever did see. Their mom and I are negotiating around each other, since she built the nest in a bush very close to the spot where I'm trying to plant a garden. When I realized a nest was going in I was tempted to just leave the area alone so as to Protect Life and everything, but I figured that a bird who plants her nest 3 feet off the ground in a bush may just have to deal with some things. I just hope she doesn't have to deal with cats. Am keeping my eye out for cats.

It's time for a Garden Progress Report. Remember the plot I got started in the back?

It still looks a lot like this, except for the part where 5 of the 6 strawberry plants died and I had to go buy more to replace them. Turns out you are maybe supposed to cover your strawberry plants when you know it is going to snow. $6 lesson, right there. 

Only 2 of the sweet pea seeds I planted have sprouted. Possibly this was because I soaked the seeds overnight but then forgot about them and left them in the water for too long. Oversoaking might be a thing. 

I thought my lettuce was coming up (in the space between the strawberry rows) but it turned out to be weeds. Not sure what that's about. Planted more this morning. 

Also planted in this space: beets, radishes, spinach, peas. We shall see.

And since I got bored of having a not-aching back, I decided to go ahead and do this:

This was my neighbor's garden patch last year, but she moved out and nobody else expressed an interest in the space. So I pulled a Jean Valjean and dug up about eleventy billion pounds of rock. Added in 4 bags of compost, some gypsum, some fertilizer, and bam. On the far end I have peas, carrots, lettuce, and spinach coming up. I just put wildflower seed in that strip lining the building. 

Am still thinking about what and how much to put in the empty spots, like zucchini, summer squash, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs. This is the first year I've looked into companion planting, which has been helpful. ("Peas and the onion family are enemies. Check." "Do not plant strawberries where tomatoes have been. Good save, was totally about to do that.") Want to get some marigold and nasturtium to come be veggie buddies.

The tricky thing is that the plot in the back only gets morning sunlight, and the plot in the front only gets afternoon sunlight. And the Internet keeps contradicting itself and confusing me about which plants are better for each so now I'm a bit paralyzed and convinced I'm going to just kill everything no matter what. Am tempted to just try stuff in both and test it out myself. Does anybody here have some wisdom?

Also, just to make me feel better, does anybody else already have a death count going?


Maggie said... [reply]

I tried to start some seeds indoors and they all dried out or molded before they were ready to be planted - I may be giving up on seeds, except for my peas and arugula (God is good!). Also killed a couple of strawberries after letting my strawberry pot dry out, and my melons aren't looking good.

But some of it is growing. I just chalk it up to experience in a grand experiment. Good luck with your botanical experiments!

Saskia said... [reply]

My mom gave me some bulbs to plant in our new yard, and I'm not sure what's better - planting and then killing them by over/underwatering or not planting them at all. I applaud your determination.

shaunie said... [reply]

Friend of Jenny's - I would plant your cooler weather crops (lettuce, carrots, spinach, etc.) in the morning sun plot (when the ambient temps will stay cooler, at least I think they would), and put your warmer sun-lovers (tomatoes, squash, bell peppers) in the afternoon plot. That's just what I would do. I am not a super experienced gardener, so I always have a death count going. My lettuce hasn't come up this spring, can't get spinach to grow either, and I killed the pretty ranunclus. Like Maggie said, it's a grand experiment.

Amanda said... [reply]

I agree very wholeheartedly with shaunie. I killed everything I ever tried to grow until I took a 300-level gardening class in college... best 3 units ever.

"Cold plants" are ones where you eat the plant- lettuce, carrots, asparagus.

"Hot plants" are ones where you eat the fruit- tomatoes, peppers, melons, squash.

Christian said... [reply]

I'll add my amens to what has already been said in regards to what to plant up front and in the back.

I would just like to highlight that you only need one zucchini plant. That is all. Don't deceive yourself into thinking that you will eat enough to justify more than one plant. It will not happen. And you will not be able to ding dong ditch enough of the excess fruit.

In terms of our death toll, we usually kill our strawberries. We thought that Archie did that for us last year by regularly digging up our planters; however, he didn't, so instead I transplanted them and finished off the job for him in u der a week. And they were strong, good plants

Other than that, everything is looking pretty good in our garden. One tomato plant is looking sketchy (and I had problems with the same seeds last year), but it appears to be making a comeback.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

I once was in the play with this song. The running joke among the guys was "Boy, would I love to meet Spring!" Nothing like turning everything into a boob joke.

Nemesis said... [reply]

@Maggie: It IS a great experiment. I figure every year a learn a bit more, right?

@Saskia. Aw, go ahead and plant. They could come up beautifully!

Thanks, Shaunie! That's how I'm leaning too. My tomatoes, squash, and basil did fine in the back last year, but maybe they would do better with the afternoon sun.

Amanda, I am currently taking the garden class that is called "doing searches on eHow.com." Yours sounds like a better idea!

Christian, I had 2 zucchini plants last year and one squash. This year am definitely going to stick with one of each! I will probably kill these strawberries too. And then I can bow out of strawberries for a good long while.

STM, that is hilarious. Which says something discouraging about my sense of humor.

coolmom said... [reply]

Spring! Glorious spring! It's even making it's way to Alaska! All the snow is gone from our yard and the neighbors are out working in their yards! Yay! Costco has plants! Life is good!

P-Cute said... [reply]

be still my beating heart! those baby robins are melting me!!

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