Well, my happy little garden is doing just wonderfully! I’ve got two raised beds in the backyard that are about 4×8 or so. There are things that are very, very nice about starting small after my enormous monster garden of last year. For one thing, I’m not the least bit overwhelmed or panicked about getting things in the ground. The bad part is- I wish it was bigger :)
My first year gardening in the South has me itching to grow big, hot-weather crops like melons and sweet potatoes and okra, but I really don’t have the room to do much. Please don’t tell that to my happily sprouting Sugar Babys and Clemson Spinelesses. I’m hoping I can train the watermelons to grow outside of the box, but we’ll see!
Everything I’ve planted is doing very well, except for my potatoes. I’m growing them in great big plastic pots this year (just because of my lack of space) and they have been planted for about a week and a half and I haven’t seen a single sign of sprouting. Hrm. If I don’t see anything in another week, I think I’ll dig them up and try again with the leftovers. I can’t think of why they aren’t working. They’ve been moist and warm and they are good potatoes from Johnny’s Selected Seeds, which have always done beautifully in the past.
Oh, and one of my spinach plants is already bolting. I haven’t even harvested anything off of it yet!
Our gloriously lovely weather on Saturday prompted me to finally get my tail in gear and start some of my seeds. Most of the stuff I want to grow will be just fine direct planted- beans, zuchinni, and WATERMELON! YAY!- but I did start a number of herbs, flowers, and one very special variety of tomatoes- AU ’76s. These are a very special variety because not only did my father help to created it when he was a lowly PhD student in- you guessed it- ’76, but also because last year he saved it from the absolute brink of extinction. I’ll be posting more about these amazing tomatoes in a later post, but hopefully they are on their way to growth as we speak!
The other thing I planted was flowers. We’re living in a rental house that has a perfectly serviceable but unlovely yard, and since I don’t know how long we’ll be linving here I don’t want to go out and spend a fortune on bulbs and shrubs that will take years to look good. Instead I am going to plant some of my favorites from seed. If they look good this year then I’ll count myself lucky and I’m only out a few bucks!
Here’s what I started from seed on February 19th:
Flowers (apparently I like very TALL flowers!):
- Peach Passion Sunflower
Today is February 14th, Valentines day. I actually hate Valentines day- I think it’s silly and made up, but my old nemesis weather obviously loves me, because he gave me the one thing that is sure to warm my black heart: 67 degrees. At 12:14 on 2/14, it is 67 degrees. I’m wearing a light sweater and I’m too warm. This is what I missed.
Having spend the last three Februaries (Februarys?) in the cold tundra that is Massachusetts, I can’t tell you how welcome this is. We’ve had snow, for sure, but they have been little more than dustings. Absolutely nothing compared to the inches and feet and months and months of grey, grimy piles on the side of the road that I had come to know. Fare the well!
February was always the worst month for me. Growing up in Alabama, February was when spring started to show itself. It would still be cool, sure, but there were buds and new green leaves starting to peek out. Something to remind you that winter wouldn’t hang on forever until you all suffocated under the weight of your sweaters and scarves and hats (yes, we wore those- even in Alabama). And then I moved to Massachusetts and February came and went with nary a break. There were usually snow storms to remind you that it wasn’t over yet. It was April before the snow was good and gone and the dirt started to thaw. And by April I was broken and miserable.
But Virginia! Virginia with crocuses and 67 degree Valentine’s days! I think I’m going to like it here…
Look for blog posts this fall!