Sunday, June 10, 2012

Planting My Plot at Helping Hands

Yesterday was our big kick-off, advertised for fun, snacks, games and gardening at 3 pm.  All week the weather forecast for Saturday had a high of about 18 and sunny.  Then, two days before the big day, the weather was 18, sunny, with cloudy periods.  The night before, cloudy, with a slight chance of showers in the afternoon.  Yesterday morning, I got up, and the forecast was still iffy on the showers, probably scattered and light, but the forecast for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia was rain all around and I knew we wouldn't be that lucky to escape it.

Needless to say, it rained and rained and rained all afternoon.  And there was definitely no large, enthusiastic crowd at Helping Hands for our big opening day.  But a few of us hardy souls showed up and made the most of it!  (One even made an extremely brief appearance with her family to drop off fresh-from-the-oven banana chocolate chip muffins.  Thanks Andrea!)  I used the opportunity to plant the rest of my family's plot.  Friday night, after a day of small child stubbornness and blessed but tiring parenting, I got about 45 glorious minutes of planting to start my plot, all by myself, in the evening calm.  I got 32 square feet of 100 square feet planted with spinach, swiss chard, carrots, broccoli, parsley, dill, and summer savoury.  For the kick-off I went back and did almost the rest of it--I forgot the pea seeds, and I am waiting to root a few basil cuttings rather than growing them from seed.

The photos are pretty terrible, because it was pouring rain and I was soaked, muddy, cold, hungry, and in a rush.  I promise I'll post some artfully-taken ones as things develop through the season, but I'm so excited to have my long-awaited vegetable garden that I am posting them anyway!

I'll start with my planting plan (which I have almost perfectly stuck to):

The whole, obsessively planned and drawn, planting plan.

So there's a little overlap here, but you can get the gist of it.  I left out the cilantro, mostly because I accidentally planted summer savoury seeds in the cilantro holes, then felt absolutely fine with it because I don't like cilantro anyway.  Also, my much-loved San Marzano seedlings ended up not doing so well, so I left them out.  Sniff.
A blurry shot of red peppers, eggplant (hugged by marigolds), and bush pickle cucumber.

From left to right: Roma, Beefsteak, Lemon Boy, and Better Boy.  I SO hope these do well!  I know I could do better than tomato cages but they were 60 cents each and easy to install in the rain.  We'll see how it goes, and I'll modify next year likely.

Difficult to decipher photo of butternut squash, pumpkin, and sugar baby watermelon planted around teepee trellises.  Again, this is my first time growing squash/melon vertically, and we'll see what happens.  I used 8' 2"x2" pieces of untreated wood, lashed together at the top by zip ties, and buried between about 1- 1 1/2 feet.


My darling, pride-of-my-summer community garden bed.

 One highlight: the Journal Pioneer showed up with a camera to document us, covered in mud and soaked to the bone, but happy, planting pumpkins, raking, and digging in the bed.  I think he even got my Jamers in the photo.  Keep your eyes peeled this week for our photo!

Shared with Homestead Barn Hop #65


  1. Oh dear, the Journal photo - going to be a beaut! Haha.

    You will have to help me plant a few of my little items this week!

  2. What a great start. Love your plan, I should be more careful like you! Here's hoping you have a glorious and abundant harvest.

    1. Thank you!! My mom laughed when she saw my plan, I think she thought it might be just a touch overboard. I however, love it. :) I hope you have a glorious and abundant harvest too!

  3. Looks lovely!

    Can I ask why the Marigolds? Are they a protector crop, or you just wanted a few flowers?

    1. Marigolds have natural pest repellent qualities, so if you plant them around your vegetables, they'll help keep the nasty bugs away from your precious vegetable seedlings. I thought that the eggplant might be particularly susceptible to bugs (it attracts Colorado potato beetle) so I thought that would be a good spot for them, but apparently they have an effect for quite a little area of the garden. I'll let you know if they work! And, they look cute in there and add a punch of colour. :) I never used to like the smell of marigolds (did you remember planting them as an elementary student?) but now I have developed a real appreciation for them.


I love to get comments and questions, and particularly suggestions!