Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dirty Work

{and it's done dirt cheap!}

There seemed to be more dirt on Nora's face than in the garden, but summer planting is done!

We spent a long afternoon last week plunking seeds into the ground and patting soil at the base of tomato plants. Booms of thunder rang in our ears, so we hunkered over and worked quickly. We finished just in time and were left with hope in this little patch of land. I say little, but I don't think it's appropriate anymore. This year we stretched our growing area into 1,120 square feet... the size of a very nice home.

The idea to stretch our space was born when I couldn't decide between tomato varieties. I came home with 20 total, a pack each of Bradley, Cherokee Purple, Early Girl, Arkansas Traveler, and Celebrity. I knew I needed three rows to make this work, so we tacked a few feet onto the plan. We also needed another row for the four varieties of peppers I grabbed, so another few feet were penciled for that, too. Then I needed a couple more feet for the sack of purple hull peas Jonathan picked up at the farm store. We're adding this new crop for Jonathan's mom. She's looking forward to shelling them with the kids, and we'll try them to see if our tastes have changed... maybe.

When the tiller was shut off, more than a thousand square feet of turned soil lay waiting for work. We dug rows, filled them with compost, and got to planting. Nora and Owen happily took charge of the green bean row. I asked Owen to push two seeds into holes six inches apart. He somehow knew just what that meant, and told his sister to stay in front of him. Back and forth they went, leapfrogging down the row until it was done.


In honor of your curiosity and the fact that I can't remember anything, here's what's growing in my backyard: one row of cucumbers {two different types}, one row of bush beans, one row of Clemson Spineless okra seeds saved from last year's crop, poblano peppers, jalapeƱo peppers, and two colors of bell peppers, the aforementioned tomato forest, two rows of various sunflower types, and those gross unique-tasting purple hulls.

In past years April flooding meant planting in a straight-up mud pit, but this year was different. The soil was easy to work, and it smelled rich and full of life. Planting day also coincided with the full moon and was followed by a day of rain with nitrogen-heavy lightning. It's now one week post-planting and there's new life sprouting all over the place. I have a good feeling about this garden, y'all. Keep watching this space to see if my predictions come true.

{Yes, these are bean seeds and pea sprouts, but you still get the idea, right?}

If a fruitful season follows, you can have all the purple hulls peas you want!

Are you still considering what to plant for summer? If so, I have a handy-dandy suggestion list for you. If you've already planted, please jump in the comments and let me know what you've got growing. I love a good garden talk.

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