Victoria Day garden idyll

Raised bed fully planted

I just ate an omelet made with wild leeks foraged from the nearby woods, shiitake mushrooms grown locally and outdoors, and the first spinach from our garden. The seeds were sown April 13. This is probably the earliest I’ve ever harvested my own spinach, as our southern exposure collects heat against the wall of the house. It might not be such a blessing in July, but for now I’m pleased.

This morning I also enjoyed watching a tiny wild bee pollinate the tomatoes.

Our official last frost date is May 17, but the actual last, very light frost happened around May 6 and was not enough to harm the already-planted tomatoes and peppers. Everything is planted now.

In case you’re interested, here’s what’s planted in the raised bed: (back row, left to right) scarlet runner beans, Cosmonaut Volkov tomato, peas, (second row) lovage, dill, kale, amaranth, spinach, sweet pepper, Thai basil, brussels sprouts, (third row) tarragon, sage, magenta spreen, lavender, leek, chard, arugula, (front row) thyme, spinach, onions, onions, leaf lettuce, carrots and calendula. Peppermint is growing in shade behind the house.

Barrels and raised bed

Container gardening can stretch the abundance of a small space. The pots contain (front row, from left) wild bergamot, cayenne pepper, Tiny Tim tomato, bush beans, zucchini, chives and rosemary. Hiding are lemon balm, basil, parsley, oregano, lemongrass and a later crop of leaf lettuce. The two containers on the edge of the stoop contain lemon verbena and Table Ace acorn squash, which apparently is compact enough to grow in barrels. I planted the squash last weekend and it’s the only thing that hasn’t germinated yet.

Once spring greens have been harvested, more kale and beans can go into the ground, but I’m divinely tempted to replace the early spinach with another tomato; it’s not too late! This will be my best and most blessed experiment with succession planting. I’m amazed at the opportunity to plant a second crop before the end of May. A lot of food can come out of a little soil.

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