Time to Plant the Garden

May 30, 2015 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment

Friday was the day, like “X marks the spot” on a calendar. The day, rather the evening, that my older two granddaughters would help me plant the garden. We had a conversation weeks ago about what we would plant and my daughter and I planned for an early evening when she could bring them.

They started out with a little picnic at our outdoor table, to eat their supper.  It was hard to sit and eat because they were so excited. I had everything we needed—plants and seeds, shovels. Our rain barrels had a lot of water in them, and the two watering cans were ready.

Like a true farmer’s daughter, I planned for crop rotation even in these two raised beds. And we had added compost that my husband and neighbour had gotten at the landfill site. With that all good stuff mixed in, the plant beds should be ready for growing good things. We’re hoping for rain, because the soil is very dry all around, but we’d like to get the planting done first, if  we can.

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We decided to plant the tomatoes and other veggie plants first. Like busy little beavers, the girls ran back and forth from water barrel to the garden to water what we’d just put in the soil. The older of the two helped set the tomatoes in the ground and together we carefully put the soil around them.

We have tiny tomatoes, zucchini plants and lettuce the girls call “salad.” We planted basil and rosemary plants, and we had basil left over, some of which we planted in another spot. I put the cages on the tomatoes.

One asks, “What’s that?”

“Cages, for the tomatoes.” When they get big and full of tomatoes, so they don’t fall over.”

“Oh,” she says, puzzled. She doesn’t remember this step from last year.

Zucchini was next. We need to leave room for them to spread. Then the cucumber seeds in the back section of the box nearest the cedars. We need to leave room for cucumbers and zucchini to spread.

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Then it was time to plant the seeds for carrots and beans. We made the row with a small shovel and I showed them the small brown carrot seeds. “Tiny, aren’t they?”

“Can I have some?”

“Me too!” the younger one said.

I put some seeds in their hands and showed them how to spread them in the row. They got it, more or less. We’ll have a lot of seeds in some parts of the row.

“We don’t need all the carrot seeds.” And they look at me, puzzled. “We need to save some room for the beans.”

The older of the two spreads soil gently over the carrot seeds, just as I showed her. I praise her and the younger one wants to do it too, so we save a spot for her to try.

“Next, the beans.” They crowd in to look. “See how these are bigger?” And of course they both want to plant. We have a row ready and they each get to have bean seeds to plant. The older and the younger plant their seeds, the older having a  bit more control and putting them in just right. I separate the seeds a bit farther that the younger one has planted and then we’re ready to cover them. They know what to do now and cover the seeds. Then they run to fill the water buckets again, giving the soil a good dousing.

While we’re planting, their Mom and their (grand) Papa are snapping pictures, asking us to say, “Fuzzy pickles” and the girls giggle and smile and we pose, just a little, and call out, “Fuzzy pickles.”

We have some basil left over and we decide with their mom that we can plant some in small pot for them to take along to the trailer when they go this week. They’ll keep it on the deck.

The girls are tired and it’s starting to show. With their Mom’s help, we put the netting over the garden beds and secure it.

“Why are we putting that on?”

“So the bunnies and birds don’t eat the veggies.”

The oldest, coming on 6, comes up with a solution. “You should make a scarecrow.” She has this satisfied look on her face. “Then the birds will go away.”

Her Papa says, “Not all of them. We want to hear them sing.”

“Oh,” and there’s a contemplative look on her face.

We give them hugs and see them off with the promise that they can come and see the garden when they return from their vacation. “Then maybe we’ll see some shoots above the ground,” meaning the seeds are growing. “And you can help water the garden too.”

They’ll remember to do that, along with the pot of basil they’re taking along.

Their Mom said on Facebook afterwards, “The girls had a blast.They are tired too. Evy is very excited to take “her” plant to the trailer.

Tired, just as their grandma, at the end of this day. But it was a good day and now the garden can grow.

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Netting is secured and my husband gave the garden beds a good watering in case it doesn’t rain.

Follow our garden progress. I’ll update as there’s something to share. Hoping for lots of sunshine, enough rain and a bountiful garden this summer.

photos  © L. and C. Wilker

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