It’s difficult to believe a month has passed since I last wrote on this blog. Springtime is so busy and there is always too much to do, and never enough time. The gardens I work on are doing well thanks to some much needed rain at the end of April. Mustard greens, radishes, leaf lettuce and some strawberries are ready to pick. The cilantro self-seeded and came up in April and it too is ready to use along with all the perennial herbs. However, even though I have had some success gardening this spring, every year I continue to make frustrating mistakes as I garden. Some lessons I learn and some I keep repeating. I guess I’m stubborn in that way.
One mistake I keep repeating is planting too many seeds in a row. I guess I don’t have enough faith in the seed. Even though the label says to plant seeds every 4 inches in the row, I find myself planting every inch or closer. This mistake requires more time in the garden thinning and removing those excess seedlings that will only keep the other plants from reaching their potential, because they are suffocating each other. Thinning is not always an easy chore and my time would be much better spent weeding or, better yet, mulching to keep the weeds from taking over my garden.
Another gardening mistake I make is not labelling row as soon as I plant them. I always think my memory is better than it is and I don’t take the time to go back to the house and get additional labels to mark all the rows as I plant. There are always at least two or more rows of vegetables that I am not sure of the variety because I fail to label as I plant. I have a couple rows of mystery greens growing right now as I write. When will I ever learn?
My third mistake is not getting mulch down as soon as possible. You would think I like to weed my garden or something by the way I always delay this chore, but I would much rather plant than weed. Weeding can be so time consuming and I need to quit saying the chore of mulching for tomorrow because tomorrow will require weeding then mulching. I waited way too long to mulch the strawberries at the Scott Christian Care Center this year. I wanted to use pine straw, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. By the time I finally gave up on using pine straw and used wheat straw instead, the strawberry plants already had berries on them. Mulching then required lifting up each cluster of berries and putting straw under them. This became a very time consuming and back breaking task.
I am grateful that we haven’t had a frost in May, and it doesn’t look like we will get one before our frost free date of May 10th. However, I am also happy that we are getting some cooler nights and days right now so I don’t feel rushed to get those warm season plants like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and squash in the ground. My front porch is filling up with plants to be planted as usual this time of year as I harden them off before they go into the ground. I am sure if people could see my porch, they would think I was having a plant sale or something. My family is however looking forward to the day that all these plants have found the proper place in the landscape so the porch can be used for rocking and drinking iced tea again.