I'm a Spring Gardener

A few years back a friend gave me this fun journal.

Because I love to plan you would think that I had spent the last four years filling up every page! I suppose I had good intentions as the first year I started out with this diagram of what I would like to plant where.
The next page dated May 19, 2005, journals what the weather was like that spring (very wet, causing the weeds to take over before I had a chance to get my hands into some semi-dry dirt (oops, I always tell the kids to call it SOIL, not dirt). I suppose I was writing this down so I could justify why I hadn't gone into the garden earlier in the spring! I also tell about my plans for what plants and supplies I need to purchase. Another page has a to-do list, and about 10 days later I made another entry telling that I had installed my drip system and the plants that were actually planted (not always the same as the plan), I also jotted in (without dates) notes to myself, telling me what I needed to do the next year: "Lemon cukes were very tasty. Corn was fabulous! Want to plant lots more! Didn't eat many of the Half Runners - kids weren't too excited by them. Didn't get too many green peppers - they were shaded by tomatoes."

The journal has sections for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter so that ideally I can chronical each step of the process, noting when I planted, when I received the first fruits of my labor, my successes and failures, weather prediciments and the amount of food I actually grew. And if I were really smart - keeping track of my expenses as well to see if I grew any $64 Tomatoes (funny book!). If I continue on the path I have started I will never need to use the Summer, Fall and Winter sections of the book. It seems I am a Spring gardener. . .

Plans for my 2006 garden (actually I think I wrote this up after it was all planted). 2007 is missing altogether and 2008 has a few sparse entries. I know I put in a garden both years, but since I didn't document everything I have no proof to say I really did!

2007 is too long ago to remember for me these days, but I have vague memories of 2008's garden; deliciously sweet grape and cherry tomatoes, as well as a few slicers in sandwiches and paste tomatoes in salsa. I remember surprising the family with cucumbers, carrots, and green beans for dinner. And now that I think about it, I think there may still be some carrots in the garden. I have pictures of the two youngest and I carving the pumpkins I grew by the side of the house. And how can I forget the endless amount of zuchinni we had because I planted four plants instead of the usual one! I wanted to try yellow squash this year, which is just a yellow zuchinni, and so I ended up with four plants, and I don't have a desire to repeat that adventure again. I sure hope the seagulls out at the landfill enjoyed the ginormously oversized zuchinnis I sent their way! Although we did discover that we LOVE grilled zuchinni, and as it is getting on to spring I should be making more zuchinni bread to use up all the shredded zuchinni I stored away in our freezer!

So, here I am in 2009 and it's time to plan, plot and get excited again. Although it is a bit earlier than my usual journal entries of May 17th, so I could write my plans down in the Winter portion of my journal and get some use out of those pages! This year I have decided that the tomatoes have been rotated every which way they can in my usual garden so I will put them on the side of the house where the pumpkins and zuchinnis were last year. I will probably put in pumpkins there too and they will take everything over and not give the tomatoes any light, so maybe not pumpkins too. I've been thinking about doing corn again because it is so delicious, but it just does not produce very much for the space it takes up, and the farmers market has wonderful corn for a great price. One of my girls wants us to grow bird house gourds, which could go in the front yard. Every year I try to grow peas because I LOVE how these taste fresh from the garden and I either get out there too late in season, or the slugs eat off the plants. I think I will have one of my beds dedicated to spring produce so that I don't have to worry about where I will plant summer items. I've been wanting a strawberry patch for years, but I'm never quite sure what area I want to give up to grow strawberries as they need a permanent location. Maybe I will have to make a fresh bed for strawberries. And I need to put in a couple of new fruit trees because the peach trees I have won't last for many more years (I've been saying that at least 3 years so it must be about time for them to die). I want a nectarine tree and a prune tree (yes prune not plum - they don't grow all pruney on the tree, but more like a dark bluish purple plum). And it would be so nice to put in a permanent area for raspberries too. They make such a lovely jam! Fresh jam is so much better than anything I find at the store. And then again with all these plans maybe I will need to have my head examined!


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