March is over and done with. Can you believe it?
Can you also believe what an incredibly long time it’s been since I wandered around the garden with you?! Last year I really didn’t have a garden, for the first time in 14 years. We were pretty focused on burning down the old farmhouse and then building the new one, and the weather was utterly and awfully abysmal. Because of all that I didn’t end up really growing anything in the garden proper – just onions and garlic. In the greenhouse I grew my usual bevy of tomatoes and basil, plus some lettuce, carrots and a couple of eggplant and bell pepper plants.
But that was it. That was the sum total of things I grew.
You might be interested: The Garden in March (of 2017)
This year, though. Oh, this year!
I know it doesn’t look like much right now, but it is definitely coming along, this little garden of mine.
I’ve got early potatoes, carrots, radishes, garlic, onions, sugar snap peas, shelling peas, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, turnips, lettuce and kohlrabi growing already. That’s in addition to the perennial rhubarb, herbs, blueberries, raspberries and marionberries that have become established. And in the greenhouse I planted a grapevine which I am very excited about (even though Jasper is skeptical)! I imagine it in the coming years growing up and along the center support, and me being able to pluck tasty grapes all summer long.
Ah, it sounds like perfection! But, I’m not there yet.
Where I am right now, is raking and shoveling dirt.
Even though I’ve grown some things here and there over the years, this is the first year we’re really going to be able to use all of the garden. That’s over 2400 square feet, you guys! I’ve never done anything this big before, and it’s honestly a little overwhelming!
So, in an effort to help me help myself, I mapped the garden out into two dozen 4-foot sections, or permanent raised beds. That way we can easily rotate what we plant, build up and amend only the beds and not the walkways, and avoid compacting the soil. Our ultimate goal is to not use a rototiller in the garden, and having dedicated beds will definitely help us achieve that (we hope!).
In the fall, when everything’s been cleaned up, Jasper and I plan to define the planting beds with either wooden or brick sides, and then fill in the paths with pea gravel or wood chips. I love the cheapness and biodegradability straw, but unfortunately so do the family of stellar jays who live in the cedar tree next to the garden. They spend a big chunk of the day sifting through it and scattering it around. Which sort of, you know, defeats the point.
For now though the straw will have to suffice. There is just too much else to focus on, and the season is already swinging!
Honestly, March seems to have flown by. Before I know it, all these tentative little seedlings will be flourishing and there will be flowers and big squash vines and warm evenings sitting outside listening to the robins sing while I gaze at my riotous garden.
I can’t wait!
How did your gardens do in March? Any tips for our garden path material? What’s worked well for you?