I Confess: My Garden isn’t all Planted

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Spring is here in all of her glory.  But she went from winter temperatures to those of summer.  Where did the pleasantly mild weather go?  That is my grace period of final garden bed cleanup, dutifully applying compost, weeding, planting, and mulching.  These days the warmer weather is loosening my tongue and sapping my motivation.  Yes, it is time for another soul-cleansing true confession.

You see…It is nearly mid-June and I have not fully planted my vegetable garden.  Oh sure, my cold frames were planted in March.  We happily snacked on early season spinach, radishes, and assorted lettuce varieties.  I even managed to plant and a few cool season items such as kale and kohlrabi in late April, but from there, my efforts went downhill.

Now as a horticulturist, I know that our region’s average frost-free date is May 15th.  The key word in that sentence is average.  It goes without saying that I usually wait another week before I start planting warm season crops such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, and squash without protection.   May can be fickle around here… dropping a late season snow and giving us below freezing temperatures.   But this year, my ‘walls-of-water’ are still safely tucked away in my garden shed rather than being pressed into duty as sentinels of the garden.  The calendar shows that we are well into June and by all accounts my garden should be fully planted… but it isn’t.

Now I could give you a variety of excuses… a few that could be plausible, but none of them true.  My mass planting just hasn’t happened.  All of those plants are still in their 2 1/2″ pots impatiently waiting to stretch their roots into loamy top soil.  They are displaying their displeasure with yellowing leaves and drying out in their pots about every 6 hours.  If plants could sulk, mine are doing it.

tomatoes yet to be planted

tomatoes yet to be planted

To make matters worse, I know better.  I went to college for horticulture.  I did internships at greenhouses and nurseries.  I grew up gardening and have been gardening for decades.  I am still doing all of the work… weeding empty garden beds, watering thirsty plants, and checking for insects.  My workload would actually be easier if I got everything planted.  I wake up every morning with that thought and yet when evening rolls around, I look to my collection of bedding plants… still there on the patio.

Yet in light of my failure to plant, I am still an optimistic gardener.  I envision the beds full and lush.  Tomatoes turning red, the blush of purple in eggplants, and weeds mostly choked out with a good layer of straw mulch.  Early mornings will be filled with harvesting and preparing meals from our garden’s bounty.  So much potential.  Yet the garden is stalled in its quasi-planted state.

I think to myself, “tomorrow is another day”.  The forecast is promising.  My body feels good and the weeds have been pulled.  Will my garden get planted?  With fingers crossed, not only do I hope that confession is good for my soul, but also for my garden.

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20 responses »

  1. Pingback: Editor meets garden | After the Kids Leave

  2. Pingback: Canning What You Plant | MCS GalMCS Gal

  3. Our frost date was April 15 but I think we had snow after that. This morning- June 14- I could see my breath. We sat around the fire outside last night, one Facebook friend said the weather made her want to pick apples and go to a pumpkin farm. I will say my squash and flowers are loving it but it’s chilly when the sun goes down!

    • Oh… I hope it warms up for you. My squash have finally started to bloom and that seems to be just the motivation I need to finish planting. I know that come September, I will be so glad that everything got planted. 🙂

  4. Ohhhhhhh tomorrow’s another day, right? Mine isn’t all planted either. The beans are in, some of the squash and pumpkins… I have excellent excuses. The tractor is being repaired. (Ignore the two rototillers.) It rained (but the soil has drained). It was 90* the other day (for four hours, then it was cooler). You get the idea. It’ll be fiiiinnnnnnnnne. Really. It will.

  5. Hahaha. This is so funny because it rings so true! It seems lately my days just run right into another and before you know it, the month is done! Where did it go? Thank you for your honesty. After reading the other responses, it seems we are in good company!

    • That is exactly how I felt about May. It was here one moment and then it was gone! My hope was to let other gardeners know that they were not alone in this little guilty secret. And yes… we are in good company!

  6. I just planted my beans and cucumbers today so you’re right in line with another horticulturist! My soil is just starting to warm us after the late, cool spring, so this seemed like a good time to start. Also, you can just say that with the unpredictable weather patterns, better safe than sorry. ‘-)

  7. Thank you thank you for the blog. This is my first year starting tomatoes from seed and improper planning of last frost date, a lot of rain and a neck and back issue that has continued on for 3 + weeks now has left many of the tomatoes and peppers leaning over in their little pots and their companions that are planted look a little peeked next to all the weeds that have been flourishing in my bed. I am about to be out of town for the birth of my 1st grandson for 2 weeks so I am anxious about my plants. I do know thought that there are many months in the year and not just May and June to plant. Your blog refreshed my soul and I feel I have a partner in optimism and timeline!

    • I have a timeline for starting our seeds… so given our frost-free date, tomatoes were started the first week of March. They REALLY need to be planted along with other veggies. I don’t know why I am just not motivated to finish planting… but I really should. Congratulations on the pending birth of your grandson! I had hoped my confession would ease the souls of other gardeners. You can do it!

  8. Don’t feel bad, the wacky winter had us in the glum drums too. I sheepishly admit I killed a flat of flowers, herbs & some rhubarb that I purchased (with all the best intentions) at an early in the year farmer’s market. The only solution is schedule a day & plant furiously 😉 Luckily most of our veggies have grown large enough that when the chickens hit the garden they don’t decimate the entire effort

    • I should be able to get more plants in the ground today. The weather is pleasant and I just need to get it done. My plants won’t just sulk… they will start to die if not given more room to grow. 🙂

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