It’s garden time!

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time doing this:

That would be me, knitting in front of a college basketball game (which we’re watching on the computer, since our TV broke, a mere week after my husband was laid off. Hrmph). For college basketball fans, this is the golden time of year when games are on ALL DAY LONG and you can quite happily do nothing but watch basketball for hours. Ahhh.

I did take a break from the nonstop hoops-watching to get out in the garden because, oh my stars, is it warm out there! The high yesterday was 78 degrees F (about 24 degrees C) and after the past couple weekends of drizzle or outright rain, I grabbed at the chance to get some garden work done.

My husband built a raised bed garden for me last April (here is where I talked about it) and to be honest, I didn’t do much with it. We chose a spot for it in our teeny back yard, covered the ground with layers of newspaper and set the bed on top, filled it with about a 75-25 mix of garden soil and manure and then…let it sit. Time got away from me, as it tends to do during the (loathsome, evil, wretched) standardized testing of May, and it just sat there for 11 months. That turned out probably to be a good thing, as the bugs and worms had plenty of time to do their thing and make the soil richer.

Although it’s a little late, I decided to try and get some spring greens in there. I went with lettuce, because I had a lot of success with that last year, and am trying spinach and dwarf sugar peas.

I had to clear out all the random old weeds that had fallen and sprouted in the bed, then scraped off the top layer of mulch. Landscapers come and mess around with our yard every Thursday (one of the “bonuses” of having a Home Owners’ Association) and they filled the bed with chunky wooden landscaping mulch one day when we were gone. I pulled out the biggest pieces, but there’s a fair bit left. I tried to just mix it in with the soil, and am hoping it doesn’t keep the teeny seedlings from pushing up.

I divided the bed into three equal parts, then planted one with lettuce (Grand Rapids), one with spinach, and the third with peas. After having to sort of scatter the tiny lettuce and smallish spinach seeds in what I hoped was an organized fashion, it was so satisfying to place the little pea seeds in their rows. Look how tidy!

Then I labeled each third of the bed, made sure all the seeds were covered, patted everything down one last time, and stood back to admire my work.

Nice! You can see from the shadows that the bed doesn’t get full sunlight all day. I would guess it gets about 7 or 8 hours of sunlight, and maybe 4 or 5 more of shady, dappled sunlight. That’s enough for lettuce, I know, but we’ll see about the rest. Honestly, if I got even one pea pod, I’d be thrilled! It’s supposed to rain this afternoon, which will be perfect for the little seeds.

The plan from here is to harvest these through late April, then rip ’em out the first weekend in May and plant summer veggies. Yay, spring! You might just be my favorite time of year.

What’s going on in your garden?


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