New Garden Beds

We are inching slowly toward summer here, although sometimes it feels like winter is determined to go down fighting. And as the weather warms, the age-old question of spring has become more and more pressing.

Where the heck am I going to plant all these vegetables?

I was not kidding when, buried deep in seed catalogs, I came up for some air and asked Dave what he thought about adding more garden beds. Considering the length of this year’s order to Territorial Seeds, and the rather impressive seed stock to which I was adding, it isn’t at all surprising that Dave and I put in five new beds this spring.

Technically I should say six. I converted the bed along our north fence into a vegetable bed as well, mostly by digging out the hundreds of daffodil and narcissus bulbs growing there and adding a good mulch of compost. It wasn’t easy to take out those flowers — I love bulbs, and I waited until they’d done blooming. I also found homes for a few of them in other corners of the property. But with the flowers gone I now have room for my brassicas, larger annual herbs like mustard and coriander, and more leeks and onions. When it came right down to it, I decided that I wanted brussels sprouts more than daffodils. What does that say about me?

In addition to that somewhat heart-rending work, we put five new beds into our lawn. (Getting rid of lawn is not a wrench for me, believe me.) Needless to say, the kids were an enormous help with the new beds. They diligently tested the usability of the new beds by running around them (early on, this meant lots of tripping over the strings used to lay them out). They dug in the newly-exposed dirt with shovels and toy trucks. They helped me dig out wheelbarrow loads of mulch — or at least, they played in the pile while I filled the wheelbarrow. With such help, it’s no wonder that we completed the beds so quickly.

Two have already been planted in peppers, with spaces left for assorted lettuces. The other three are for corn, beans and squash. Every day since April that has been graced with warmth I’ve had to restrain myself from going out and planting the corn. But now the corn is in, the beans and squash will go in soon, and our new lovely beds are full of rich black dirt and ready to produce (hopefully) a bounty. Yes, that truly is all it takes to put a spring in my step.

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