One With the Dirt...

My dear, sweet neighbor, Mr. Lew came over the other day and tilled my garden plot for me.  He's such a dear old soul.  I never even asked him to do it...I just looked out the window, and there's this sweet eighty year old man out in my back yard - plowing up my ground for me.  How I love him.

I pay him in coffee and cookies.
And games of Cribbage...and jam and maple syrup.
We like our deals.
Behold, ye garden plans for this season.

I'm going smaller this year...with much more space between my rows for wee Hoolies to wander through and not trample over things.  And I am learning what we eat a ton of...and what tends to go to waste.

Did you know that you are supposed to rotate your crops every year?  You take nutrients out of your soil if you plant the same things in the same rows every says, Lew.  You should actually wait seven years before you repeat the same veggy planting.  I feel like that's kind of impossible with a smallish garden...

Also, did you know that tomatoes and potatoes share the same diseases, so you shouldn't plant them near each other or in the same rows that the others were planted in?

And did you know that the old timer's recommend planting your corn in rows of four for better cross pollination?  I know that corn is a hot topic of debate for its health benefits, (or lack thereof)....but me and my boys, we love ourselves some fresh picked corn on the, corn it shall be planted.  And coons, they shall be shot if they partake of said corn before I get my hands on it.

Also, did you know that green peppers should be planted in two rows, side by side, close enough so that when they grow to full size their leaves touch - for better cross pollination, as well?  And you shouldn't plant your cukes next to your squash and zucchini -- else some major funky veggies shall cross-breed?

I knew none of this before Lew was in my life...
My goal to have in the ground before London's appearance.  The peas have made it.  The beets are still waiting.
I typically wait until the end of May to plant my entire garden.  Mostly because I like to just get everything done in one fell swoop and am never on top of things like I would like to be, in the first place.  Lew likes to plant his piece-meal, and he especially likes to get his peas, beets, swiss chard, and radishes in early.  He's especially happy if a little frost or even snow hits these veggies once they are planted, too.  He calls this a "poor man's fertilizer."

Who knew?  Not me.
10 rows staked out and measured....roughly 3-4 feet in between each row.
Well... him being over the other day...combined with some gorgeous weather we've been having...combined with me itching to get my fingers in the earth...along with wanting to help get this baby out of my belly...

...all those things combined, found me and my wee-est Hoolie playing in the dirt the other day.  My two larger Hoolies were busy occupying themselves with slip-n-sliding in their undies.  Priorities, you know...
Sugar Snap Peas.  Deee-lish.
So, Sir Rancey Pants and I did just the tiniest bit of planting together.  And - oh, it was lovely.  I really do love gardening.  Which totally and completely cracks me up because as a kid we always had these ginormous gardens which was the responsibility of my brothers and I to keep weeded.  And oh. how. I. hated. that. chore.  I can so clearly remember telling myself that when I got old enough to decide for myself "how I was going to live my life" (oh brother...) I would never. ever. voluntarily choose to plant and weed something that required so much work and that was the absolute bane of my existence...

My, how things change.  Ha!
Now I find it soothing...and almost miraculous, really - seeing something that I just stuck in the ground actually grow....and multiply...and feed my whole little family.  I love it.
My little "Helper."
The peas shall be thick this year, methinks.....
My entire idea of "perfection" has also long ago flown out the window.
We are now a "good enough" and "get 'er done" kind of a family.
Growth.  It's good for the soul.
"Thee, Mama!!!  It'ths PEATHS!!!  For my tummy!"
Notice also the crocs on the wrong feet....because "I can do it MYTHELF!!!"

You thure can, Love.  You thure can....
And now here's an "According to Lew" tidbit about peas:

He suggests you to plant them (in his words: "strew them") in two rows, about three inches apart, and then in the middle of those rows, place a stake and a bunch of wire for them to climb up on either side.  We did this last year, and it worked out well....although my poles and wire were only about four feet high, and the peas climbed to about five or six feet. Overall, though...the two rows on either side were a smashing success...more veggies with less space used.  Win win.
And here in this picture you can clearly see why I would never make it as a seamstress.  I can not sew...nor "sow"...a straight row or line to save my soul.  I was not drunk when I planted this half row of peas.  I honestly and truly thought  - with great pride, mind you - that I was planting an amazingly straight row.

It is what it is.
The mantra of my life.
NO trespassing for the girls....  They are less than impressed.
And so now, the peas at least, are in the ground.  I shall bribe Kevy to put some stakes and mesh wire up between them within the next couple of days....and if we have only peas this year, well, then peas it shall be!

My sweet and protective Mama can't believe that I'm having a garden this year.  It's actually stressing her just a wee bit.  To which I replied:  "Mother dearest....I am having a baby.  I am NOT dying."  And my expectations are very low, so I'm not worried.  I fully expect weeds to flourish....things to die...and my veggies to feel sadly neglected.  However, I shall still have a wee garden, because it makes me happy.
Giving birth, also makes me happy....
Just sayin'.


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Rachael said...

JUST got mine tilled and ready to go last night! I'm so glad I read Lew's tid-bit on pea planting. I shall do it his way this year!
Your's amazing. :-)
Hoping to still come visit prior to her arrival...we've all been sick for a week and still running its course. When we're infestation-free, I'll call ya! Hugs....