The Planting of 2021

It is finally planting time in central Massachusetts. This week I had a few days of vacation time to use up at work. The soil has warmed up. The weather was forecasted to be cooperative. The time was right to get out and put things in the dirt.

As predicted, the well- thought-out diagram I made for my raised beds was abandoned as soon as I picked up my trowel. Here is The Plan vs. The Reality, for comparison.

Use the arrows to slide between The Plan on the left and The Reality on the right

I am interested to see how staggering the planting of the cucumbers will work out. Staggered planting is one of those things that gardening books promote as a way to extend the time of your harvest while preventing crop overload. I have discussed this concept with other gardeners and some have said that the later rounds of planting always seem to catch up to the earlier ones. I plan to keep the pickle-making supplies easily accessible, just in case.

I am very happy with the way my front yard garden is shaping up. My perennial herbs did well over the winter, except for my lavender which died after sustaining heavy insect damage last summer. I may harvest some thyme for drying soon. I planted Russian Giant sunflowers right next to the street and sprinkled Whirligig zinnia seeds in-between. This year’s front yard tomatoes will be of the Sunsugar variety. I bought a six-pack at the local garden center, as growing tomatoes from seed is a skill I lack. I also bought Genovese (a.k.a “normal”) and purple opal basil. There is a row of marigold seeds planted in front of the tomatoes. I bought a new lavender plant; maybe this one will survive.

The back section of the front yard garden contains my Roman chamomile. The seedlings were still very tiny, and I planned to let them grow a little more before transplanting them so they would be easier to handle. Being the graceful gazelle I am, I knocked over the planter holding the seedlings, and had to initiate a salvage operation. I planted them by carefully lifting clumps of seedling and potting soil and placing them in the prepared bed. They haven’t died yet, so fingers crossed they will grow and fill in. Right now, they look like bad hair plugs.

Here are some more photos of what went into the ground.

Those pumpkins will grow slowly, so they can easily share space with the bok choy I planted a few weeks ago. Using all available space is a must when you have a small plot of land to work with.
Bok choy, the Second Planting is in that little round hill. I just wanted to highlight the volunteer sunflowers that are popping up in the same raised bed. Sunflowers are always welcome here!

We are off to a strong start in the Food It Yourself garden. The physically difficult tasks like digging new beds, moving compost, and turning the soil are done. Now, I have the most mentally task- waiting for it all to grow! What is going on in your garden right now? Share in the comments.