Still Life with Spinach, originally uploaded by arahbahn.

I finally admitted to my self and husband that my spring schedule has been too nuts to allow time to build a raised bed for the vegetables we intend to grow. I really wanted to build something (with wood! and nails! and fresh dirt!), but the time blocks needed to purchase and/or deliver all the supplies just aren’t going to align themselves in time to get our straggly seedlings into the earth before they wither away on the shaded front porch, in the tiny squares of the seedling flat.

Thankfully, weeding the plot that we allotted for the garden was far less laborious than it was last year (removing sod is the devil’s work). And, it’s been fairly dry this month, so the various weeds came out pretty easily with a dandelion tool or hoe.

Saturday offered a beautiful sunny morning for us to do the work, and of course, I went renegade and failed to apply sunscreen on my shoulders.

Steve had already spent an hour or two weeding in & around the rain garden, by the time I came out to test the weeding waters around 10. I had to remove anything that wasn’t part of the row of sage that had survived the winter, and the odd outcrop of spinach (see photo above) that started growing from seed, in early spring. Actually, the stuff in the photo is part of the 2nd round. We already harvested the earliest batch, and it’s going on pizza, this week.

The sage and spinach provided the cues for structure, in the bed: all rows would align with the sage row, and I later planted some spinach seed to fill out its row.

Starting at the sage row, we planted a row of basil, then a short row of tomatoes (“Rainbow’s End Heirloom Mix”), which was short because we’d already transplanted one seedling to a pot on the back stoop. Then, rows of these followed: mixed chili peppers (Ancho “San Luis”, medium-heat Santa Fe-style “Joe Parker” and spicy Jalapeno “Sierra Fuego”), “Big Beef” beefsteak tomatoes. Lastly, we put in two shorter rows of Waltham broccoli, as that end of the area tapered a little, due to the oval shape of the rain garden.

For good measure, on the other side of the sage, I put in a row of lettuce seeds. Hopefully we won’t get into summer’s hot days, too soon. That row is in shade until 11am anyway.

My only concern now is that we didn’t allow room for the beets, radishes, and carrots that I bought seeds for. Ah well, I’ll be pleased and surprised if we get any tomatoes, peppers, or broccoli, already. And I’m not about to tear up any more sod, in the yard.

I’m very excited about the garden! I skipped a run this weekend, but it was totally worth it.

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