Tuesday, May 6, 2008

April Showers Bring May Planting

"So, Michelle, how many bean plants do you think I should plant to sustain me through the year?" (My colleague/friend/compatriot-in-garden-crime planted green beans and peas for her family last year, so I thought she might advise me.)

"Oh, three or four plants ought to be enough."

"Oh." I was quiet for a moment. "So about 19 ought to be plenty, I guess."

She laughed. But she also knows my OCD ways, so I can't imagine it was any surprise to her. "How many pea plants did you put in?"

"Uh, about 20."

"You'll be spending a lot of time shelling peas!" She laughed again. I suspect her laughing is because this year, my gardening habits are very different from last year's. Last year, I think it was mid- to late-June before my garden got planted. I threw everything in at the same time--cool season foods and warm season foods. The only thing I really had were tomatoes, and they were tiny. (But I've already told you about my toy Beefsteak tomatoes.) This year, I'm taking my time. Every day we don't have rain (which admittedly hasn't been very many days yet), I'm out in the garden planting.

Yesterday I planted soup beans. Of course, I didn't plant just one variety--oh, no, that makes too much sense. I planted SIX varieties (Old Mother Stallard, Lina Cisco's Bird Egg, October, Hutterite, Jacob's Cattle Gasless, and Ireland Creek Annie), and about 5-6 plants of each. So I'll be shelling a lot of beans in addition to those peas!

Today, I planted three different kinds of beets (Choggia, Detroit Dark Red, and Bull's Blood); 2 types of radishes (Plum Purple and Early Scarlet Globe), 8 types of lettuce (Amish Deer Tongue, Bronze Arrowhead, Forellenschuss, Red Velvet, Susan's Red Bibb, Yugoslavian Red Butterhead, Lettuce Mix, and Apollo Arugula), 2 types of spinach (American and Strawberry), and White Vienna Kohlrabi.

I still have a lot of seeds and garden space in which to plant, but now it looks like it will rain very soon, so I've given up for today. The nightshade family plants (tomatoes, eggplant, and pepper plants) are still growing under the warming lamp, so I suspect it will be time to plant them soon.

I'm afraid to tell you how many different tomato varieties I will be planting.


Anonymous said...

Oh, that's all part of the fun. I'm going to have more beans and peas than I know what to do with too, assuming most of them make it. After all, you want some to freeze or dry for later, and some to save for planting next year, right?

EnglishProf said...

Absolutely! I bought a chest freezer for that very purpose and also plan to save my seeds. :-)