Garden Diary: More planting and replanting

The strawberries have started to ripen, and we are picking a small bunch each day.

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Atlanta, flew back on Monday, and I have been working in the garden ever since. As planned, we bought tomato, basil and eggplant seedlings after our trip so we would be home and could react if a cold spell hit.

G. and I planted the tomatoes on Monday night with some help from our friend Sharon, who was staying at the house for a few days. Yesterday, we bought eggplant and basil, and I put those seedlings in today.

But then, there is the planting that wasn’t planned. Many of the seeds I put in two weeks ago didn’t germinate. We got no onions, parsnip, fennel or carrots and only a couple of beets. A few leeks are starting to peek through the soil. G. thinks I put the seeds in too deep, and they can’t push their way through the dirt, which hardens like clay when watered. Even the marigolds are failing, with only half up, and they usually sprout and grow like mad.

So, yesterday, I planted another section of beets (golden ones, this time) and carrots. If they germinate, I’ll go back in two weeks and replant the first section. Today, I put in some onion plants that we bought, and when G. gets home, we are going to another nursery to buy more.

I replanted the fennel yesterday, and then last night we picked up a couple of plants cheap at a roadside stand, so I put those in too for good measure.

I’m giving the parsnips another week since they normally take two to three weeks to germinate.

But, it’s all just very frustrating. I feel like I’m wasting time and throwing away money on seeds, particularly with the onions, since we bought seeds and now are buying seedlings. When I planted originally, I didn’t think I was putting the seeds in that deep. But I guess I need to more or less place them on top of the soil and just sprinkle a little dirt on top.

Small pumpkin vines sprouted almost immediately.

The experience has made me particularly grateful for our pumpkins and winter squash. They grow in almost any soil and sprout almost immediately. There’s no worrying about whether they’ll come up, or whether you should plant or wait a bit to see if they come up because they’re there almost immediately. And, they grow fast and produce a lot.

I said to G. last night when we were watering, “This is why we grow pumpkins: so we know we’ll have something to eat.”

“And they’re delicious,” G. said. At least he’s looking on the bright side.

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