Today I got the vegetable patch planted! It took longer than I thought it would to prepare the soil and pull all the weeds, daisies, mint, and dig out the daffodils and irises....by the way, some bad news on that front. I had a whole bucket full of daffodils and irises to transplant, and I was excited by it, too--because last year we only had 3 or 4 irises bloom, but when I dug the patch I found about 50 tubers. My gardening friend told me that it was likely they just needed to be separated and would find new life once they were moved. Well, after planting the garden I went to find them in the shed. I knew I'd never get them all in the ground, but figured I might be able to get a dozen done. To my horror, they were gone! Rachel thought they were weeds I'd pulled--and the got them into the trash this morning before it was collected! She thought she was doing me a favor. Sigh.
Anyway, back to the veggies. When I went to Agway yesterday for new gardening gloves and some chicken wire for the tomato trellis fencing--the chickens can hop right through the squares, so we rigged chicken hex wire so they can't--I was surprised to find that they had some herbs already. The lady informed me that they should be inside for two more weeks, but my ace in the hole are those tomato sleeves I got last year--you fill the tubes with water, which warms in the sun and gives heat at night to baby your plants, so you can plant very early. If my patch had been ready we could have put seeds out in mid-March! So I'll use them for the basil and oregano, and then in a couple of weeks when I get pepper plants I may use them for those. They also had a variety of tomato at Agway called Siberian, which are the earliest tomatoes; they promise we'll be eating them by June.
I also planted more of the beautiful gourmet string beans we had last year. They are green, wax and dark purple, and we were upset the chickens destroyed so many that we never had more than a few at a time. Hopefully this year that problem will be solved. I planted a summer variety squash mix, cucumbers, and a strange thing sent free from the nursery because I ordered enough--it's called Vine Peach. The ad said it looked similar to a peach, but grew on a vine and tasted like a cross between a mango and a peach. So if that's successful I think we'll enjoy it. That's really all I have room for, though I will squeeze 2 or 3 pepper plants in when they are on the farms. Possibly another tomato plant too--we love cherry or grape varieties, and I am a sucker for the orange and yellow ones. So once I see how everything is growing I'll be able to tell how much room we have. If we run out of space I can plant the tomatoes in a container and leave it on the front patio, safe from the chickens!