Friday, April 5, 2013

Far More Grounded

Yesterday, the lack of spring was getting me down.  So I did what any respectable girl who likes to get her hands dirty this time of year would do:  I planted part of my garden out anyway.

Because of all the medical appointments and rampant testing the last few weeks due to the breast cancer ick, seed starting hasn't exactly been a priority.  Mercifully, that doesn't matter here if you have enough money to buy already sprouted plants that are ready and willing to be planted out. 

Quite honestly, I was happy just getting outside into the yard and digging around, turning the garden soil over and over as I worked in some compost and manure.  I kept going until I literally had to sit down in the middle of my driveway and breathe for a little while -- and it made me so deliriously joyful, I cannot begin to tell you.

Doing something normal for my usual Spring made me really, really happy.

Dirt is heavy, though, and by the time I got all of my little 8x4 square foot garden box turned and loosened and fertilized, I needed a breather before The Peanut and I could plant anything.  It isn't something I'll be able to do for a while once I have surgery, because everything will be healing, right?  The tug in my back and shoulder muscles and all along my core in my belly tells me that I'm woefully out of shape this year, but it is a really good pain because I can look out our side windows and see my wee plants straining upward toward the sunshine.

It makes me so smiley.

Mr. ReddHedd had to go out of town on business yesterday, so I figured that was the perfect time to overdo it without interruption, since The Peanut tends to only be interested in the planting phase and I had a good, solid hour of complete quiet only punctuated by birdsong and chickadee chatter about my proximity to the bird feeder (a/k/a their favorite seed hole in all the world).  It was just what I needed, huffing and puffing and working with the soil and wearing myself out physically.

For a little while yesterday, I got my mind off everything but what I was doing in that moment outside in the garden.  It was meditation with a spade and much needed dirt therapy rolled into one.

The best part of getting all of this done now is that when it warms up enough to plant tomatoes, basil cucumbers and peppers, the soil is ready to go.  So no matter how crappy I'm feeling, the hard work is already done. 

Once the soil was prepared and I got the new net trellis tied on securely around my vertical garden frame (made of galvanized metal pipes over rebar several years back), it was time for us to plant.  Here's what The Peanut and I are growing this spring:

-- Swiss chard
-- Spinach (because right now, I am all about the dark, leafy greens)
-- Lettuce
-- Broccoli (ditto on the cruciferous veggies)
-- Onions
-- Various herbs:  thyme, sage, parsley, and mint

We also have some sugar snap pea and radish seeds to plant, but I wanted to let the soil warm just a little more, so they will likely go in this weekend, along with another sowing of lettuce/mesclun mix to have another lettuce crop waiting in the wings.  The radishes and lettuce will rotate in every two weeks until the end of May, when it gets too hot here and they start to bolt until closer to Fall.  The herbs, though, will stay in all growing season, and we'll add basil and a few others to the mix as it warms up.

If you'll excuse me, I have to go water my tiny little plants and soak in a little garden joy for the day.

(Photo by Christy Hardin Smith.  This is our garden a couple of years ago, about thsi same time of year, back when Spring actually showed up on time.)


robin andrea said...

So glad that you were able to get out and play in the dirt! That's quite a lush garden pic. Seems so crazy that spring hasn't quite arrived there yet this year, especially knowing what is possible when it does show up on time!

Here in the Sierra foothills, we always have the threat of frost until Mother's Day. But we have been planting the things that love the cooler temps, like kale, chard, and peas. Best time of the year!

Christy Hardin Smith said...

Sadly, Robin, that was our garden a couple of years ago but around this same time of year. It's been so cool this year that none of our cool weather plants could go in until just this week, so we are well behind our usual growing pattern. Our frost free date is mid-to-late-May, too, which is why we only have stuff like chard, broccoli and onions in at the moment.

I'm just excited that I'll be ready to go for tomato plants when the time comes to plant them. Regardless of how I'm feeling by then, The Peanut and I can dig out a hole and pop in a tomato plant or two -- I would have dearly missed fresh tomatoes if we hadn't done this. That's the best part of having this little garden, being able to pop a cherry tomato, warm and fresh off the vine, straight into my mouth when they are ripe. Yummmm!