It seems the last frost of the winter in my region has passed.
Where I live, in subtropical South Carolina, the daffodils have been up for a week or two, and the cherry & apple blossoms has started blooming. Migratory robins came through last week. So when I looked at the 10 day forecast and discovered that there would be nothing but mild temperatures and spring rains I decided to start my gardening for the year.
Today I weeded one of the raised beds and planted two kinds of lettuce, beet greens, kale, and green onions. Due to the mild winter I had some “volunteer” carrots from the old seed that I had tried to use up last year, so I transplanted them into neat rows. There is still room for tomatoes, basil and nasturtiums which I will put in later today. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried nasturtiums, but not only do they keep insects off of your tomatoes and grow synergistically with them, but their leaves as well as their flowers are edible. The leaves have a peppery taste and add a nice zing to salads.
Next weekend I will have my husband Roto till the other raised bed so that I can plant parsley, fennel, cilantro, and three different kinds of peppers. In the back of those — an area I can’t reach very well to weed – I will be planting sunchokes. Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, will crowd out anything else that wants to grow back there to not only provide tall, beautiful multi-stem sunflowers but edible rhizomes if we feel like trying them. But the main reason the sunchokes are going in is that I’ve learned that the secret to gardening in this area is to find something sufficiently invasive that it will basically tell the rest of the weeds to go to hell.
It’s good to get back into gardening again. This is how I, as someone with a very sedentary job — writing and editing — get my fresh air, sunshine, and exercise.