Gardening means something different to different people – be it flowers or vegetables, whatever form it may take. For me, it can mean tending to my ornamental flowers and shrubs, but more than likely, it means I’m working in my vegetable garden. It’s my therapy and my favorite kind of exercise.
Sometime in late January or early February, I start planning what I want to plant. This year, I started my tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant from seed. I also started some flowers to intersperse in between the vegetables.
Then, sometime in late March to early April, Jeffrey Walter prepares the garden area by tilling in the weeds that have grown up through the winter months, along with the leaves that have fallen from the various trees in our yard. He actually tills it at least twice, then hills it – making the rows where I can plant with valleys in between. This method has served us well, because in super wet years, the hills have kept our tomatoes from drowning.
This year, the garden is just a little bit smaller, but it’s still over 900 square feet. It can take a while to get everything in the ground and as I get older, I’m learning (the hard way) to pace myself a little more each year. While I got a few things in the ground the weekend before, I planted most of my home-grown seedlings into the garden about 2 weeks later than usual – the weekend of May 1st.
After a day and a half of planting, laying weed barrier and mulching, I took the opportunity to take a nap Sunday afternoon. No, I was not finished, but sometimes you just need a nap. Come Monday morning, I was happy to go back to work and really thankful for that comfort height toilet. Gardening is a great reminder of just how little exercise you’ve been getting through the winter months.
This past weekend, I managed to finish all the planting and mulching. It’s tiring but it’s so worth it when you have fresh veggies to enjoy. Later this summer, I’ll be enjoying fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, cayenne peppers, jalapeño peppers, basil, green beans, squash, eggplant, okra and (with any luck) black-eyed peas. The sunflowers, calendula, marigolds and nasturtium will add some extra color too.
Do you have a garden? What do you grow? Do you call it your therapy?
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