I helped my dad plant a garden this year.
It was really chilly two weeks ago when we planted, but we felt like we couldn't put it off any longer. Maybe warm spring days will come, maybe we will continue to get buckets of rain. In an effort to protect the tomato starts, we filled gallon plastic jugs with water and set them near each tomato plant. The water retains solar heat from the day and keeps the fragile roots warmer at night. Even in the absence of direct sunlight, the jugs manage to get warm everyday.
It was a lot of fun, being that two years ago, my brother built the garden boxes. They had to be dug up and weeded this year, but the soil underneath is amazing. I've helped level any and all mole hills in the yard, by bringing that perfectly sifted dirt by wheelbarrow loads to the garden to add to the soil. Now let's hope the moles find greener pastures somewhere else and leave our garden alone!
We planted tomato, pepper and cilantro starts. Everything else we planted seeds for: English cucumber, yellow squash, zucchini, green beans...
...radishes, beets, sunflowers, red onions and more squash. Lots of little mounds of squash. I kept some seeds from the squashes that I received from the CSA last year. I've been excited to watch them grow. The strawberries have proliferated some from two years ago when my brother began the gardening project for my dad.
The other day as I was walking out to the garden, I discovered a tiny brown creature moving slowly through the wet blades of grass. I leaned down and looked closely and discovered a small newt. His (0r her!) tail had recently been torn off, so he was a little under the weather and not feeling too good. I picked him up and he crawled slowly around my hand. I fell in love immediately. He was such a handsome, sweet, vulnerable little thing. His belly was bright orange, which was amazingly beautiful. I decided to save him from the inevitable lawn mower and placed him in my garden. The little fellow and I seemed to have communication problems so I had to project what I would want if I were a newt.
If I find him again (the garden is apparently not his style-I can't find him!) I will try to photograph him, though he appears rather shy.
Happy gardening and let's hope for a fruitful season!