Organic Gardening in New England – Late Spring 2014

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One of my two oregano plants that come back every year.

One of my two oregano plants that come back every year.


I spent a good part of yesterday gardening in my slow-motion way alternating with studying (for my online summer class in communication). I pulled weeds, hand-turned soil to loosen it up, and planted Lemon squash, Suyo Long cucumber, Stowell’s Evergreen sweet corn, and King of the North sweet pepper seeds–all heirloom varieties.

Amish deer tongue lettuce transplant

Amish deer tongue lettuce transplant

Because I rotate crops, the squash seeds were sown in the terraced garden near the driveway, the sweet pepper seeds in the grow bags I made last year on the other side of the driveway (that provided lots of yummy tomatoes), cucumbers and corn in the back garden raised beds. I transplanted those little Romaine lettuce volunteers I found in the grass in the front garden as well, and they have recovered and are enjoying this cool, dark day.

Today, I hope to sow pickling cucumbers and bush beans in the front garden; Moskovich tomatoes, red and blue potatoes, and some herbs will go in the remaining back yard raised beds, two remaining — the third will remain fallow this year except for a cover crop and volunteers (garlic and broccoli). I need to dig up some hills to sow the pumpkin seeds outside the fenced in back yard garden so they can sprawl again over the septic tank.

Suyo Long cucumber seeds sown May 27. Need to construct a central trellis.

Suyo Long cucumber seeds sown May 27. I need to construct a central trellis. The sea of green surrounding the raised beds is wild violets.

Looking over what I did yesterday, all I see is dirt. Because I didn’t start my seeds indoors this year, everything is starting in the garden. I am just sowing seeds, and we shall see what works this way and what doesn’t. I wasn’t terribly impressed with how my transplants did last year anyway, so this might work better. The seeds will come up when they feel the time is right, the plants will naturally harden off because I planted a couple of weeks after the last frost, and for many of the crops I am growing, late spring and early summer are not the best times to put out young transplants with our sporadic temperatures.
Terraced bed sown with Lemon squash. A couple of cilantro plants, a single onion, and what looks like a wild carrot.

Terraced bed sown with Lemon squash. A couple of cilantro plants, a single onion, and what looks like a wild carrot break up the brown.


For all of the work I have done over the past 5 days, there are a handful of lettuce transplants and the occasional volunteer. Okay, there is the oregano that comes up every year, and a carrot that came back (or it might be a wild carrot — I didn’t have the heart to pull it up). I also had a couple of cilantro plants come up. None of my other herbs came back from last year. I was sad that the sage didn’t survive, but we had a hard winter.

I have invested a lot of time (and money in seeds) with the hopes that down the line I will reap a bountiful harvest of delicious and nutritious vegetables. I bought a pressure canner over the winter that will be used to put up green beans and corn, meat I find on sale, and possibly black beans with stewed tomatoes. I will make jar after jar of pickles to my youngest son’s taste — he is really picky about his pickles.

Red bell pepper seeds sown in grow bags beside driveway so they will get a lot of heat.

Red bell pepper seeds sown in grow bags beside driveway so they will get a lot of heat.


I can already taste the Suyo Long cucumbers, their sweet tenderness, the crunchy green skin, and how amazing they are with Feta cheese and a few fresh-from-the-garden tomato slices.

Gardeners are investors, and for those of us who use organic gardening methods, utilize permaculture and look to sustainability, we are giving back to the earth, providing safe havens for beneficials: earthworms, snakes, bees and wasps, butterflies and moths, frogs, toads, and salamanders, even birds. My yard is a haven from pesticides; my soil is full of microorganisms.

I might have a garden full of dirt right now, but I know that in a few weeks everything will be green and promising. Oh, how I love gardening.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

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