I’ve always loved books with exchanges of letters, like Two Gardeners: Katharine S. White and Elizabeth Lawrence--A Friendship in Letters and 84, Charing Cross Road, an exchange of letters between the writer Helene Hanff and a British bookseller, Frank Doel. When I found out that Dee from Red Dirt Ramblings and Mary Ann from Gardens of the Wild Wild West shared a similar interest, we decided in 2009 to exchange letters about our different vegetable gardens, 1,000’s of miles apart, across three different hardiness zones. We ended those letters last fall but have decided to continue them again this year.
We hope you enjoy this once a week glance into our 2010 vegetable gardens, beginning today.
Dee and Mary Ann and Gardening Friends Everywhere,
So, where did I leave off? Oh yes, right around Labor Day last summer was my last letter about the vegetable garden of 2009.
There isn’t too much to report on the vegetable garden after that last letter. I was never very good about extending the harvest into fall, so things just sort of quietly wound down from that point on through the beginning of winter.
I did leave the garden in pretty good shape last fall. I got all the raised beds cleared off and top dressed them with some rich compost from my compost bins. I expect that if we don’t get much snow or rain between now and mid-March, the ground in those raised beds will be ready for me to sow the first crops of peas and spinach on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, and then a few days later I’ll sow seeds for radishes and plant onion sets.
Why the delay in planting the root crops? This year I’ve decided to plant according to the moon phases. I’ll plant “above ground” crops from the new moon to the full moon and “below ground” crops from the full moon to the new moon.
Mary Ann, it will come as no surprise to you that once again, I have a lot of seed varieties to plant. Over the next week, I need to organize all those packets and figure out what’s missing and maybe see what I have too much of, if there is such a thing as "too much" when it comes to gardening. (We sure don't act like there can be too much!) Plus, Dee, I remember you suggested that we all grow the same variety of something, maybe lettuce, to see how it does in our different climates. I’ll try to write about what varieties I’ve purchased so far so we can see what we have in common.
I’m pretty excited about this year’s vegetable garden, even though I need to do some work to replace the wood around some of the raised beds. It doesn’t last forever, even if it is cedar. But once I do that, I’m ready to plant!
Looking forward to a new season of sharing about our 2010 vegetable gardens, I remain…
P.S. The picture above is from two weeks ago. It’s hard to imagine that the garden will be ready for me to sow peas on the 17th, but I know it will be!