For the first time in years, I do not have a major yard project. The major garden edging project is finished, the hill falling into the lake is stabilized (except for the dratted muskrats who have moved in, which I’m trying to have a more laid-back attitude about), and I have no new gardens planned.
So, for once, I’m weeding regularly and trying to get the whole vegetable garden space under cultivation. I am going to continue to weed it and keep up this year, really!
It’s doing really well this year, partially because I actually got started on time. SE Virginia is zone 7, and our normal last frost date is mid-April, which means that starting things six to eight weeks before that last frost date involves hauling the greenhouse down from the garage ceiling in late February. I found a local hardware/seed store that handed out free schedules for planting in the area. Which is a long explanation of, “I actually planted things as early as they could be planted for once.”
I also blame the nuns. I took some of my very happy, overgrown iris, and other spreading plants for the new gardens (they moved out of their old convent in the middle of the city to a quieter location several years back) of a local cloistered Poor Clare community. “Oh, thank you, and God bless your garden!” Ack! Too late to stop the kind porteress, I am living with the consequences of my garden getting blessed. (and the nuns have received several more deliveries of my extra plants, as has Brother at my parish; it’s a great way to give away large quantities of extra and/or too rapidly spreading plants)
I tried a few new things last year and am expanding it this year. I’m growing more corn (it was wonderful to eat really fresh-picked corn!) and beans (dry and green). We’ll see if all the compost and turning everything over helped. It’s looking good so far.
The potatoes already look better than they did last year, after a lot less growing time. The wheat was nipped off almost at the ground (blasted bunnies!), but came back thicker than before. The beans are named for the Biblical story of Jacob’s father-in-law trying to cheat him out of his just pay by promising him only the spotted cattle. Miraculously, the cattle had almost all spotted calves that spring. So, Jacob’s Cattle beans are white with red spots.
After the weeding, it’s always important to sit down and appreciate the garden. Without sitting and looking, you get to the point where all you see are the weeds. It’s very discouraging. Which is why, come August, the garden has usually fallen into a state of neglect as I, overwhelmed by endless to-do lists, retreat into the air conditioning.
It’s about the long-term goals, not just today’s problems. I should point out that the same can be said of homeschooling, or parenting in general, or any number of things.
From where I’m sitting, it doesn’t look too bad.