Monday, March 5, 2012

Early Gardening

I think this is the earliest I have ever had my garden in - but my Spring veggie garden is planted!

After the scorcher summer last year, I've decided I'll have a Spring and a Fall garden this year and the Summer will just be herbs and then nectar plants for the butterflies and hummingbirds. 

Also this year I am one of about 15 participants across the southern United States who are doing a marigold seed trial for a seed company.  I was sent 5 new types of marigold seeds, and I'm tracking how/when I planted them, and giving progress reports on growth rates and success.  I have lots of space available for planting, so bring on the free seeds!  I don't mind tracking things; I pretty much do that anyway.  In addition to their nursery labs, they wanted "real home gardeners" to do a trial with the seeds.

We are so warm so early this year - and the weeds were the first to notice.  I hand pulled an entire wheelbarrow full of weeds out of half of my parkway and driveway on Saturday afternoon after volunteering at Habitat for Humanity Saturday morning.  (By Saturday night I really could barely move... so sore...)  Weeding is such great therapy...

And then most of the day Sunday I worked in the backyard - it was just glorious.

The weather was picture perfect, and it was great to have the prep come together so well:  I have my own rototiller now, (thank you Red!) I used my own compost from my compost tumbler (I supplemented a little with some organic bagged, too) and I watered in my work with water from my rain barrels. 

I also made a border for one of the beds from beer bottles... turned upside down and buried so just the ends stick up... courtesy of Pinterest... (I wish I had buried them a little bit deeper...)

A bed of marigolds - with 3 existing perennials in the back

Asparagus box, with marigold seeds planted down the middle

Overview - including the small patch of sugar snap peas with trellis -
and that's my Bay Laurel plant in the middle.

Here's what I planted - and aside from the marigold seeds, they are all seeds that I had left from last year:

In existing asparagus box
50 seeds of Narai Orange marigolds

Sugar snap peas by fence with trellis

Beer bottle bed:
100 seeds Inca 1 Yellow Marigolds

Long raised bed:
Babuda Gold Tall marigolds (25)
Italian pole bean
Marigold Discovery yellow (25)

Back right box
Common chives
Cilantro (last year's seeds germinated this year...)
Dill or fennel (came up from last year, can't tell yet which it is!)

Back left box
Curly parsley

Front right box
Peas - super snappy
50 American Marigold Bali Orange
Carrots (last year's seeds germinated this year...)

Front left box - these plants have been in almost all winter
Cilantro - (mutant plant, can you see it?  Huge.)

I have butterfly perennials popping up in several places in the yard, front and back.  In the back, one borage plant is about a foot tall and just covered in blooms!  It's beautiful.  My lavender is also in bloom - both beds.