Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Last Chance Of Frost Has Passed, Time To Plant The Garden!

I live in the northeast and in my area, May 15th is the magical last date of potential frost. On May 15th, local gardeners venture outside to plant their tender gardens and flowers.

I wrote a few weeks ago about how I was converting my 4 X 12 foot box garden where I planted randomly to a gridded square foot garden where I planted deliberately.

By following the garden philosophy of Mel Bartholomew and his book All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!, I could now potentially plant 48 plants in the same box where I used to plant around 15.

In April, I planted some cold weather vegetables, such as carrots, lettuce, spinach, arugula, sugar snap peas and broccoli.

On May 15, I planted 4 tomatoes (roma, grape, big beef, celebrity), 1 tomatillo, 1 jalapeno, 1 yellow sweet pepper, 2 squares of beans, dill, flat parsley, pineapple sage, sweet basil, lemon verbena, rosemary. I sprinkled in some marigolds to help stave off the pesky bunnies. Because my mint is so invasive in this box, I kept the last 2 rows or 8 squares for the mint.

I am especially excited about the tomatillo plant. I have never planted it before and I can practically taste the salsa verde now.

I wanted to plant some bush beans and this purple variety intrigued me, mainly because my girls' favorite color is purple. They are an heirloom variety that turns deep forest green when cooked and are good frozen.

Back in April, I also bought a rhubarb plant. It is growing nicely, but unfortunately it can't be harvested the first year, so I have to wait until next year to enjoy it.

I planted 2 blueberry bushes last year and they are growing nicely. Although I have a fence around them to protect from the bunnies and a net to protect from the birds.

Do you remember my post on my new topsy turvy strawberry planter? Well I had to move the planter. I had it on a shepherd's hook that wasn't able to handle the weight, so we nailed a hook to the shed and it is holding it up well. I bought an ever-bearing strawberry variety and they are growing well, but no flowers yet. I'm not sure when to expect them and I'm also not sure if I should even expect many berries this year.

Do you have your garden planted? How does it look? Did you try anything new this year? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Your garden looks delightful! We got out this week-end and got some stuff in our garden as well. We're about a month and a half behind from last year (due to the colder winter and late frosts - even in E. TN!), but hopefully that won't hurt us too much. We also planted a plum tree and are trying to figure out the perfect spot for an apple tree - I can taste the fruit from my own backyard already! Hope they make it! :-)

  2. The garden looks great!

    I'll admit to reading Square Foot Gardening, and even making Mels Mix to use as soil - but then I never actually made the squares, I just planted as normal. I'll try it next year.

    I've got sage from last year that's thriving, a few green onions, and some TINY spinach/lettuce sprouts that are just coming up. So glad the last frost day is past, and still stunned that Mother's day Sunday it was snowing!! Oh the northeast...

  3. We are in the Northeast as well, and I can't wait to plant! We have never done a veggie garden (and we aren't set up to do one this year), but I hope to start small next year.

    This year I am focusing on some perennials for my front and side landscaping and MULCH!


  4. I planted the purple, green beans last year. they are fun to cook!

  5. I haven't planted yet (we are still under frost warning) though I do have some strawberries and thyme that have returned from last year. There are also green onions scattered throughout my flower garden. I can't wait to get planting!

  6. @Shalet - I love when plants sprout up from last year. I had my parsley come up from last year, but that is it so far. Usually I get a tomato or two, but not this year.

    Thanks everyone for all of the nice comments!!

  7. Your garden is really coming along! Our last freeze is not until mid June. I have planted a few cold weather plants and had a few volunteers show up, but I still have quite a few plants in the greenhouse.

  8. I've never had bunnies bother our 16 blueberry bushes. What do they do to yours? We planted Blue Ray and Patriot varieties. What are yours?

  9. @Money Saving Maine-iac - last year, right after I planted the blueberry bushes, the bunnies ate all the leaves off, so I put the fence around and now they can't get to the bushes. I planted a patriot and I can't find the tag for the 2nd bush, so I am not sure.

    Thanks for the comments.


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