May I Share My Garden Plans With You?

It is May and it finally feels like spring here to stay in central Massachusetts. The oak, maple, birch, aspen, pine, beech, poplar, sassafras, and crabapple trees are all booming, looking beautiful, and making everyone sneeze. Thankfully we have had rain every few days to clear the air. My cherry trees are blooming, too, which makes me very happy. I hope the bees are admiring them as much as I am.

It is not quite planting time at this latitude for most crops. I do have a few bok choy sprouts emerging, and I plan to start some string beans this week. (I tried planting string beans several weeks ago, but I think the cold and damp has rotted the seeds before they could sprout.)

I have been making careful plans regarding where each vegetable will grow. Indeed, I drew a diagram of the raised beds to make sure I know where to plant each crop.

As you can see, there will be sequential plantings of string beans and bok choy to maximize my yields. Last year, the spring planting of bok choy was harvested just as the pumpkin vines were starting to run. I think they made nice companions. I have made sure to add extra compost and chicken coop litter to the bed that will hold the pumpkins, as they are heavy feeders. I might stagger my cucumbers, planting four vines initially then another four after a few weeks instead of eight vines all at once. This would elongate harvest time and hopefully reduce the chance of having more ripe cukes than I can handle at once. I have given up on planting anything other than basil in the same box as my tomatoes. The plants get too big and choke out anything else I try to plant.

It all looks neat and tidy on the screen, doesn’t it? If you have ever seen me work in the dirt, however, you know that plans like this are subject to change at a moment’s notice.

I am getting so impatient to plant my garden, but it is just not time yet. I am getting all the preliminary work done, including turning compost into my growing beds, warning the rabbits not to eat my plants, and setting up my electric fence (because rabbits do not speak English). What do you have growing on right now? Share in the comments!