The Garden Is Full

I begin planting my vegetable garden early in the spring. This year, what with the frozen ground, and then the cold rain, I started the “plant after the last chance of frost” seeds late. They were slow to germinate. I planted more. I sow in succession, so that the harvest is spread out. Every year, I hope to have tender lettuce over the course of the summer, and every year, I find that I’ve been too eager in March. I have salad for lunch and dinner. I will be handing over romaine to friends. The chickens will get some.



Each salad is different. I add herbs, nasturtiums,



and young kale. Is there anything prettier that kale after it rains?

wet kale


Every now and then, over the last two months, I’ve added a plant, and tucked in more seeds. An eggplant, A pepper. Sunflowers. Patty pan squash. Yellow squash. Zucchini. Peas. Black turtle beans. Carrots. Cucumbers. Chard. Tomatoes, of course. The kitchen garden is full.

veg garden


But my pumpkin patch remained a mess. Filling the fenced area were weeds, turf, compost and matted, dead plants from last fall. It would have been backbreaking work to dig it all under and prepare the ground. Fortunately, I have a neighbor that was willing to let me borrow his rototiller. I gave him a dozen eggs in exchange. Rototillers are essential for this sort of work, but it is still difficult. Luckily, I have a strong teenage son who was willing to push this noisy, stinky and temperamental machine around and around until the soil became fluffy.



He got paid. He deserved it. Scooter anointed the garden, and then I planted.



In went the hard squashes, one hill of each: acorn, butternut, buttercup, pumpkin and delicata. I also put in a hill of watermelon. You never know, the summer might be warm enough to get a crop. It’s worth trying.

planted squash


This is the water, weed and wait phase of vegetable gardening. It seems like a lull, but there’s still plenty to do. I’ve got at least an hour of work out there today. Weeds grow as fast as the vegetables. Carrots need thinning. Etcetera, etcetera. The rest of the property calls for attention, too. There are weeds to pull up around the pond. I’ve made a jug of iced tea. It’s chilling in the fridge. I’ll pull up a chair this afternoon.



  1. I really admire your efforts with your garden I’ve almost finished ours. Like where you put black visqueen between rows. We are putting straw between our rows. A well known farmer in our area adds to fields every year.

    • I’ve used straw between rows. Very pretty and comfortable, but my area has a problem with mold (having the house spray washed this week!) and the straw turned into a moldy mess. I use an overhead sprinkler, if I switched to drip irrigation it wouldn’t be such an issue.

  2. I am wondering why the chickens were not put to work in the pumpkin patch? Free labour and no noisy machinery involved. All the holes in my landscape are testament to what a good job they do digging and breaking up hard surfaces!

    • I do use the chooks to turn over compost in my raised beds in the fall, and they help with bug control all summer. However, it would have taken them a long time to till that patch, and they can’t do it as thoroughly and deeply as the rototiller. I would have had to fence the chickens in, cover with hawk netting, supply with water… easier to have my son rototill!

  3. Most of my garden will be in pots again this year. *sigh* I’m always too early with the basil. I adore basil and smelling it at the store makes me weak and into a pot it goes. With all the cold this year, they died and I had to replant. Ah, well.

  4. I love the flower of the lily pad……’s Mother Nature at her best!

  5. Where did you find your raised bed form/corners/system? That is exactly what I’ve been dreaming of!

    • Gardeners Supply. They have a number of raised beds system. The one that I have is already 10 years old – there are now better corners on the market.

  6. Our garden looks good. The Asparagus has gone to ferns now and we are trying to pull the tiny little weeds out from under it. I got several weeks of really nice Asparagus this year, yum.
    Jim brought in the first two bell peppers, but so far only tiny little Jalapenos and the tomatoes are there but refusing to turn red :-( Probably because of all the cool nights and overcast days. We’ve had rain almost every week since May so (happy dance) we haven’t had to water so we’re saving the well for July!
    I had about 4 1/2 #’s of Zucchini in the fridge and today made a small batch of Zucchini pickles. For some reason, two of the jars didn’t seal just right, so one went up to the neighbor and the other went into the fridge for us to eat in a week or two. Then I had one little half pint jar “left over” and will be taking that up to Jim’s mother. She now lives in assisted living and is very close to us..only a few minutes away. She enjoys little “extras” and loves my Zucchini Pickles.
    If the weather will hold we should have green beans soon.
    The pool is open, but we have an air leak in the line somewhere and had to order parts. The pool man is coming up this week to see if the new part solves the problem. The water is almost warm enough to swim, yippee.
    I SO love Spring and Summer. Not a winter person, LOL
    Oh and the chooks are laying more eggs than we can eat, sell or give away…so they are getting a few boiled a couple of times a week.
    Have a happy Spring & Summer everyone. Good to have fresh produce from the garden!!

  7. Beautiful garden! Rain is always pretty. We got so little of it this year, I expect that I will have forgotten what it is by the time we get our next rain in Oct/Nov. Our apricot tree is just finishing up and I made 4 pints of jam yesterday and have some in the fridge for drying or a crumble. The cherries are just starting to color up and the figs are getting plump. I cleared away some brush growing under our peach tree yesterday and the chickens loved the freshly turned dirt. Next time I need to hire your son! Henny Penny is diligently laying 4 blue eggs a week but my Barred Rock girls, Scarlett and Amelia, are slackers. I don’t mind that Scarlett is not laying because she was only laying shell-less eggs anyway but Amelia must be on a sympathy strike. Oh well.

  8. Nice garden . Hard work but so worth the effort. I dont have room for the big squashes but sure wish I did. I m trying 1 watermelon and 1 spaghetti squash this yer. And some small climbing cantaloupes that I got from baker creek. We will see how they do . It says to put the melons in little nets ( which I bought) will let you know how that goes. Good luck with your garden. I love he photo of Scooter anointing the garden lol

  9. So jealous. I direct sow from organic, gmo free seed for almost everything. With the record snowfall and long long winter this year I only got mine planted 2 weeks ago. It did give us extra time to build some great pea towers and get a fresh coat of stain on the “rabbit” fence though. This year we are trying potatoes in towers, a new pinterest discovery for me. Otherwise we don’t have enough room for taters. Fingers crossed. The blue taters are coming in like gang busters.
    It just amuses me how the little hens are always tucked in and roosting long before the barn girls. Just love checking in on them from time to time. Living vicariously through your lovely ladies.

    • PS – I’m in west MI where the lake effect snows can really pile up. This year was epic!

  10. Tillers and weed whackers are the bane of my existence. Two of the most temperamental machines ever made. UGH!!!!!!!

  11. I agree. Our weed whacker has been a pain since day one. This year our chainsaw has decided to join the ranks of temperamental machines, but at least it has a good excuse (age).

  12. I wish I had mote space, but I do cram a loy into a little space using a lot of containers and three raised be4s. I had some extra concrete blocks, I used tjem for herbs and sunflowers around tje coop. I put in grapes to grow up the outside of chicken coop to give natural shade. trying some potatos in a potato bag, doing well until the girls decided it would make a nice bathtub. Oh well, lol