Putting in a crop
April 10, 2017
Things are progressing apace here at Keyboard Farms. Over the last three days, we have planted:
- 38 tomato plants
- 4 pepper plants
- 15 lettuce seedlings
- 15 radish seedlings
- 20 carrot seedlings
- 12 cucumber seedlings
- 15 pea seedlings
- 12 cabbage seedlings
- a dozen or so different herbs
And our back is tired. As are our shoulders and our knees. The slings and arrows of advancing age are not kind to a would-be gardener.
Saturday, with assistance from AGCs 1 and 3, I planted tomatoes. And peppers. On the tomato side, we have a bunch of Romas, hybrid Big Beef and Better Boys, and heirlooms Arkansas Traveler, Celebrity, Marglobe and something else I forgot, along with Sungold yellow cherry tomatoes and Tiny Tim red cherry tomatoes. We will, God willing and I don’t break my leg again this year, have tomatoes aplenty to can. The tomatoes are sweet banana peppers, red bells, and Hatch green.
That’s one garden patch, the 8 x 40 stretch. I may have, perhaps, overdone it on tomatoes, but hey, that’s OK. My friends will love me.
The front flower bed has become the herb garden. In it are (if I can remember them all), parsley, cilantro, oregano, thyme, sage, three kinds of basil, lavender, tarragon, rosemary, a couple of kinds of mint, summer savory, and I don’t remember what all else.
And today, I transplanted all the seedlings I’d started indoors. Well, not all of them. I’ve had poor luck with peppers and tomatoes. May try those again next year, with an earlier start. But the butter lettuce, radishes, carrots, peas, cucumbers and cabbages just did swimmingly, and we should, I hope, be harvesting salads by early to mid-May.
We shall also see how well the rabbit fence does. The bunny buffet is in place, and securely (I should hope to shout!) surrounded by “rabbit guard” fencing, which has been secured to the ground between posts by landscape staples. If it does not keep rabbits out, you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em should be prepared to come up here with bail money in the event the PO-leece come get me for taking after the rabbits with the 16-gauge.
Rabbit and dressing, anyone? Been a good while since I skinned a rabbit, but I’ll betcha it’s like riding a bicycle.
I still have about three, maybe four if I squeeze them, rows left to plant in semi-early stuff. They’ll go into squash, melons, eggplant, onions, fennel, I forget what else. Once the early stuff, particularly lettuce, radishes and carrots, are done, I’ll put in pole beans and okra behind them.
I may perhaps have overdone it on the tomatoes (Surely not!) It may be that 38 plants is a bit excessive. But when you figure canning tomatoes, tomato juice, tomato sauce, tomato paste, relish, chutney, maybe even ketchup? Eh, I’ll use most of them. Not to mention capreses and BLT’s.
Will be interested to see how the herb garden does. First year I’ve planted in “real dirt,” as opposed to containers for herbs. I’m hoping the tarragon and basil will last a bit longer than in previous years. I do love having fresh herbs to cook with, not to mention making pesto. Must get a few bags of mulch to put down around the plants for weed control.
I looked at asparagus crowns today, but hell’s bells, I have no room for more garden. Asparagus will require a dedicated bed, probably of the raised variety, to itself. Maybe next year. Planting asparagus will be very forward-looking, given that it takes three years to reach harvesting stage. Talk about faith…
In any event, it’s a good kind of tired, the kind that makes you feel like you’ve actually accomplished something. And when I get ready to harvest the first salad off this garden, you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em are all invited to come on up and we’ll have dinner!