Just In Time Planting

As of yesterday we were getting a bit impatient with the progress on the vegetable garden.  The steady rains have been great for the perennial gardens but I still hadn’t gotten many of the vegetables planted.  And several days of sunshine had helped but when I tried tilling on Saturday it was still too wet.  When we woke up the weather had changed and was showing another rainstorm in the offing.  I went out first thing to the garden and gave the ground another once over with the tiller.  This time the soil was right — just crumbling in the hand as I squeezed it.  So I ran the tiller plow down the rows and then tilled once more for most of it.  I also removed one of the local inhabitants to protect him from the tiller.

Eastern Box Turtle

Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina)


Then I broke out the seeds and plants.  The snap peas had failed miserably compared to the standard snow peas, so I replanted them in part of the space and then added pole beans as well.  The sunflowers went in for general flower picking and to participate in the Great Sunflower Project.  For the main flower picking row I put in zinnias, marigolds, cosmos, cleomes, stocks, and a host of wildflower seeds from Wildseeds.  May the best flower win!

Then I put in 3 kinds of squash, pumpkins, and 2 kinds of cucumbers.  Finally I got to the seedling plants that had been hardened off on the porch.  There were 18 tomatoes (mostly Jetstar and Supersonic with Primetime, Juliet, and Grape thrown in), 16 peppers (Declamation, Boynton, Big Bertha, Yellow Pimento, Red Pimento, and Carmen), and 9 Eggplants (Hansel, Gretel, Fairytale, Little Fingers, and Classic).  Curiously, although the eggplants have been sitting on the back deck for nearly 2 weeks, no sooner did I put them in the garden than they were immediately attacked by flea beetles.  The latter have become a major pest for eggplant.  They devastate the leaves which look like they have been hit by a shotgun.  I thought it was amazing that the limit their range to the garden and not to the yard.  We may try growing some in pots.  As I did the final planting (the corn will have to wait for another day) the raindrops started in by about 1pm.

The newly planted vegetable garden as seen today

The newly planted vegetable garden as seen today

And by 4pm we had a drenching rain.  I was really glad that the timing worked out to get such a fine start for the seeds.