Late to the garden party?

Normally I would have my garden planted by now (almost mid April). This year I am making myself wait. And then wait a little longer.  Having lived in the North (New England) for most of my adult life I get over anxious in the fact that there is no snow on the ground here in the South (Virginia Beach) in March, and throw my garden in the ground around St Patrick’s day for the past 3 years.  And then when there’s a (many) frost warning I’m out there like a mad woman covering everything and fretting about how low the temperature goes.  So I decided THIS YEAR is going to be different. My garden boxes are sitting idle with a lovely covering of hay mulch.

Well, not so idle – my asparagus came up two weeks ago and we have harvested a few spears (ooh my, soo buttery!) and the strawberry plants have blossoms.  My experiment with growing potatoes in trash cans (“All Blue” and “German Butterball”) has started off well, they have sprouted through the first few inches of soil!

I grew lettuce in a large bowl-like container last summer (“Heatwave Blend” if I recall correctly) and it did great, was super easy to go out to the deck and just snip a few leaves, so those seeds went in about a week ago. I’m trying again to grow carrots (“Kaleidoscope Mix”) in a container, last year I just had too many plants and while the tops were all nice and green and pretty, the carrots (what few there were) were only about an inch long – I was more careful about how many seeds I started this year so hopefully will just thin a few and have more success.

The most frustrating part of gardening is the evil Squash Vine Borer (SVB). Those who have experienced this little devil know what I mean!   I absolutely LOVE zucchini and yellow summer squash, I remember having them all the time from our family garden when I was growing up. And having sooooo many zucchini’s that we were trying to give them away to anyone who drove by our house.  But this SVB here is a dream killer – I have never gotten more than 2-3 squash off a plant before it dies from the SVB eating the vine. I’ve tried all kinds of tricks – last year I even wrapped the seedlings in a knee-hi nylon covered toilet paper roll. This year I’ll try aluminum foil around the base of the plant (it’s supposed to confuse them by being shiny?) and set my alarm to go out every hour and look for the wasps to try to kill them before they lay eggs. Maybe being late to the garden party this year will mean I’ll have some squash to share with my neighbors.

Next week I’ll have an update on what’s been planted 🙂