Monday, March 7, 2011

The Possibilities of Spring

Spring is in the air, as fresh and clean as a drop of dew landing on a crocus in full bloom. Blue skies two days in a row forecast change on the horizon. Nieces and nephews clamor for their wooden swing sets, built by strong capable hands, that seem just a little smaller after a season of growth. Yes, I love the promise of spring, a promise which is about hope.

My optimistic ideas about completing winter sewing projects are still very much alive, even as I fill seed trays with starter soil and rake up dead leaves that threaten to smother my spring bulbs. Oh, the possibilities.

Here is a glimpse into my vegetable garden plans this year:

Clemson spineless Okra (Growing okra is new for me...but last year I added okra to my canned vegetable soup and loved it!)
Big Beef Tomatoes (An extra-beefy early producer for slicing)
Amish Paste Tomatoes (my old stand by for canning)
Blue Lakes Bush Green Beans (we liked Burpee’s “Tenderpod” last season, but my seed source talked this one up pretty high)
Hot Peppers- Garden Salsa. A new variety for us, a hot red pepper just right for salsa.
Lettuce- Buttercrunch and Salad Bowl
Sweet corn- Incredible, new for me, and supposedly one of the best selling super-sweet varieties. This is for eating fresh, not canning of course!

As soon as the ground is worked I can’t wait to put in some spinach. And who knows what else I’ll decide at the last minute. There’s always room for more.

I’m also adding more raspberries, and replacing the strawberry patch that bit the dust last summer when I was recovering and unable to tend to it properly. But since the strawberries took up a lot of room, and the weeding is always more than I bargain for, I’m going to experiment with container planting and see if that has any benefits.

What aren’t we doing this year? Peas are still up in the air, and we’ve only got a little time left to decide. Last year we had trouble getting the trellis and irrigation going in time to have a decent planting. We haven’t done pole limas in a couple years, although I have the seeds for them. Generally, I’m lousy at picking them and can’t tell by feeling the pod whether they are the right size or not. I always pick them too big, and the Mister is far too busy to pick them when the harvest is ripe. Carrots are a possibility only if I can get pelleted seed. The problem with carrots is always the same: As you are thinning them out, the carrot flies smell it for miles around and head right to your house so they can eat your carrots. I’d like to avoid thinning as much as possible.

Of course, I haven’t even planned my herb garden yet, but you can be sure there will be one. The True Lavender germinating in my mini-greenhouse right now attests to it. Oh, the possibilities!

What new possibilities do you see in your garden this year?


  1. Hi Monica! Spring is such a time of beauty and of hope! The smell of Spring is one of my favorite things about this glorious season! We have some major remodeling going on around here so this year we are opting out of a traditional garden and just planting our most beloved produce in containers. We just needed to cut back on some things until this work is over! Blessings...

  2. I'm planning to try raised bed gardening this year, and one year of raising okra was enough for me. I love okra, fried breaded okra, pickled okra..... but I'm the only one in our family. The worst part of raising okra was the awful itchiness it caused when ever I harvested it. I really loved the blooms though and the impressive big plants looked great marching across the garden.

    Hope you get a bumper crop. Though you might want to wear long sleeves and gloves to harvest.

  3. Lovely post! I'm looking forward to gardening soon, too. I'm intrigued by your "true lavender." Is it different than what's available at most garden centers? I want to plant a full row of zinnias this year which will be twice as long as I usually plant. Btw, my comments go straight to everyone's spam folder. You may have to go to your blogger dashboard to retrieve it. Have a great week!

  4. Monica,

    I am awaiting the return of Spring!
    Cannot wait for the early spring planting! Spinach and peas are on my list! I have been doing a bit of spring yard cleaning, but the rain has been aplenty! Happy Gardening and I too am trying to complete some winter sewing projects!

    Debbie S.

  5. Magnolia Tea- True Lavender (AKA English lavender) is the variety grown for use in perfumes and other scented products. It is supposed to be the most fragrant, and I look forward to seeing how "true" this is. ;-)

  6. Well, I'm definitely looking forward to spring, but you may as well have been speaking Chinese because I don't know the first thing about gardening. I think my mom had some tomato plants when I was growing up, but that's as crazy as we got. Scott's dad always had huge gardens up until a few years ago. I may give it a go sometime, you never know! :D

  7. Ahh! You've got me so excited for spring! Hope your gardening plans meet with success all around!

  8. Sounds like a good variety. The new things I am trying this year are kale. We discovered how yummy this was when we were given some and it is a cold hardy crop... so perfect for us. We are also trying a new corn from Gurney's called "Gotta Have It". We are also trying new herbs. We like Italian spices on almost everything, so I have several types of basil, then also oregano, rosemary, thyme, and sage. I have some camomille from last year I hope will come back. Last year was such a good growing season. I'm trying to build it up to be so good this year, but it would be great if it was hot and sultry with just enough rain.

    I bought new strawberries also and we purchased a new apple tree.

    It's hard to believe that planting day is only 2 months away with still 3 feet of snow covering the garden. We got a blizzard yesterday and they're predicting more for Thursday and Friday. I am hoping it will come as rain and not snow. I walked out behind the camper last week to light the pilot light in the water heater and went in up to my 'sitter-downer'... yikes!

    I know spring will come, it just seems the snow will be here forever.

  9. Yay for spring and all it's newness! Our growing season is slowing down as we head into autumn here in New Zealand. I look forward to watching your garden grow. :-)

  10. My husband is planning our garden right now too. Okra was our best crop here in SC last summer. It's drought tolerant and has few pests that seem to bother it. The flowers are lovely--they look like holly hocks. The plants bear far into the fall. Our favorite way of eating it is to pick the pods small and saute' them whole in a skillet in just a trace of oil. Cooking them this way seems to take away the sliminess that many people dislike. Okra is also good cooked with tomatoes, corn, and bacon! It can be a main dish if you serve it with some rice.

  11. Hi Monica, my garden is always better in my imagination than in the dirt out back :-( Last year I just did not have the time nor energy to really work at it so it yielded very little... I'm going to try again this year but may switch to containers for some to ease up on the weeding. My plan: sweet corn (peaches and cream); green beans, peas, carrots, tomatoes, peppers (bell and garden salsa) and onions (which never seem to mature because I eat them as scallions!) I would also like to plant some lavendar, thyme, rosemary and basil. We'll see!


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