Brad Graham is the Garden Project’s garden and gleaning coordinator. This season, we’ll be featuring monthly installments of his thoughts and stories from the garden. Enjoy!
Spring holds so much promise for gardeners. It’s still part of the lazy season because the real work hasn’t started yet, but anticipation is high. We’re like crocus blossoms ready to pop.
Sure, it’s been busy the last couple of weeks getting my flats of peppers and then my tomatoes started. But now, I can just kick back and enjoy the sounds of the cranes chattering about. And I saw two bluebirds in the garden the other day. I’m sure glad I cleaned out their houses and put ‘em back up in time this year!
“The asparagus looks good,” she says, breaking my trance. “Have you seen it?”
“Nah, maybe I better go look.”
On my way to look, I notice something on the picnic table that was conveniently forgotten. Those seed potatoes were cut two days ago. They need to go in the ground. I need a shovel.
No, shoes first. Gloves. Fertilizer. Sulfur.
“Shouldn’t have been sitting around,” I tell myself.
I dig two trenches, 20-feet long and 10-feet deep. Three inches of loose dirt is spread back in. A sprinkling of fertilizer and sulfur is added. 30 or 40 potatoes are placed about 14-inches apart, then covered with four-inches of dirt. After I untangle the hose and drag it to the garden, a good watering should give them a nice start.
“Wow, it’s hot,” I think to myself after shoveling for an hour and a half. “Sure glad that’s over.”
Looking down, I realize it’s not over. The next row was planned for Swiss chard and cabbage. This stuff should have been planted weeks ago. I need my garden rake.
After dragging the rake across and back, a 20-foot seed bed is marked out and ready to prepare. This time, it’s 30-inches wide.
To the compost pile. Fill the wheelbarrow. Dump the compost in the bed. Fill. Dump. Three inches of compost is spread. Fertilizer is scattered on top. Now I dig, 10-inches deep, a shovelful at a time.
Blend it in. Dig it in. Dig. Dig. Dig. Rake it off. Level it out. Done.
To the seed box I go. Swiss chard? Check. Cabbage? Check. Carrots, beets, kale. They all need to be planted… now!
Returning to the garden with the coveted seeds in hand, I notice something we all dread at a moment like this. Darkness is setting in. Where has the time gone? Why didn’t I get started earlier? Tomorrows are loved by gardeners. We can finish this, start that. And dream of longer days.
“Your dinner’s cold. Want me to heat you up some?” I hear from inside.
“Nah, I’m gonna shower first.”
“What did ya think of the asparagus?” she asks.
“Oh right… never thought to look at it.”
What a wonderful time of year, the lazy days of spring.
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