Something told me Spring would be coming early this year. Maybe it’s because for the past 2 weeks, I’ve sneezed on average 35 times per day. And there are mounds of tree pollen collecting on the window and hood of my black car. And the stumpy rose bushes with naked branches have begun to sprout their fresh skirt of several gradients of deep green and burgundy leaves. And I spotted this little guy peaking out of my strawberry patch:
The last frost was estimated to be on March 7th (according to the Farmer’s Almanac this year) but considering the fickle weather I chose to wait another week. It was about 80 degrees when I transplanted my babies into their new homes. I figured the soil would be warm enough for the roots to settle into. I added manure and other soil amendments a few days before the big move and watered the soil well. The fertile soil was anxiously awaiting their new friends to adopt.
The raised garden bed is home to four zucchini plants (their gorgeous yellow blossoms have already decided to open up), four cantaloupe, four Calabrese broccoli, and six celery. The remaining perimeter will be filled with red beets, baby carrots, and romaine lettuce.
I’ll wait a few weeks to sow those other seeds, considering we were hit head on with 2 days of unexpected buckets of rain that threatened to drown all of my plants. But they managed to survive. They are Italian seeds, mostly from Calabria after all, so I have no doubt their strength came from their heritage.
Under the window sill that gets a lot of early sun I planted the Florentine Beefsteak tomatoes and San Marzano tomatoes, as well as a row of basil and flat-leaf parsley. We trimmed back some of the vines overhead and I rigged them together as a natural support for the back row to grow up on.
To the left of the tomatoes is another trellis that I planted Thomas Laxton Peas directly in the ground. The large stalks (anticipating almost 3 feet) will extend the most gorgeous pea tendrils that we’ll be able to see through the kitchen window. My favorite movie as a kid was The Secret Garden, and I always imagined I could be Mary with the secret key, walking among delicate vines and an abundance of flowers. Adds a little bit of whimsy in this urban garden… “I’m in the gaaaaaaaarden…”