Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

June 4, 2010

A Gardener’s Day in the Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 9:18 pm
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Last weekend, after my mournful Red Sox Game, I spent my Saturday planting my vegetable garden.  This has been a Memorial Day weekend tradition for me for many years now.  In the early years of my garden, I easily grew luscious tomatoes, bountiful peppers, and piles of cucumbers and zucchini.  I dabbled in corn one year – result, epic failure, due to local raccoons managing to pick virtually every ear just a day or so before it was perfectly ripe.  I’ve experimented with carrots, onions and radishes.  My clay soil is not overly friendly to root crops, although radishes flourished for a few years.  Eggplant and summer squash have come and gone from year to year.  I even gave tomatillos a shot one summer, but we don’t really have the growing season for them here in Massachusetts.  I’ve never had a successful planting of any kind of melon – I’ve tried both watermelon and cantaloupe.  Despite my successes and failures, it wouldn’t be summer for me without getting out there and getting my hands in the dirt.

Typically, on the day that I set out to plant my garden, this is how the space looks that I need to tackle:
My garden, 9:00 am, 5/25/08

Leaves to clear, weeds to pull, debris to move.  This year, however, hubby gave my garden and me a treat after the garden of the past few years hasn’t been as successful as I’d like it to be: 4 yards of fresh top soil!
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The photo above is how my garden looked at 9:00 am on Saturday morning.
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And this is how it looked at about 6:00 pm Saturday evening.  I only took a break for lunch, and I planted 68 fresh young vegetable plants, most of which were purchased from my local garden center, Sixteen Acres Gardens:
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Yeah, all those seeds I started this year?  The only ones that actually made it into my garden were, you guessed it, the watermelon seedlings (and I’m still not convinced they will grow even with the new top soil and the patches of composted manure that I planted them in!  They are “icebox” sized seedless melons, but in the past the largest melon I ever got from these vines was the size of a baseball!) Here are the best looking of those seedlings, not that much bigger than the last time I showed them to you.
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In addition to the watermelon, this year’s garden contains:
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Tomatoes (6 Big Beef and 6 Better Boys)

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Hot Peppers (12 Thai Dragons, 6 Jalepenos, 6 Long Red Cayennes)
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Sweet Bell Peppers (6)
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Cucumbers (12)
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And zucchini (6)

And this is what I looked like at the close of this gardener’s day:
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(I think I’ve mentioned before its hard to do much around here without involvement from 4-legged residents! )

Right now, I’m still in the early glory days of the garden season.  The plants are fresh and new and healthy.  I have hopes for my new top soil.  I’m hoping for some cooperation from Mother Nature, with just the right amount of sun and rain (which has NOT been the case the past few summers).  The dirt is weed free.  But, like the road to Hell, the paths of my garden are paved with good intentions.  Check back with me in August!  Hopefully, the garden won’t look like this:
The weeds win!