Time to Plant the Spring Garden


This weekend is a great time to plant most beans from seed.

If you have not already planted your spring garden, this weekend is the perfect time to put out those transplants that you have been babying and also plant lots of other things from seed.  I have not planted yet so this will be a busy weekend for me.  I realize that many of you took advantage of the unusually warm “winter” weather we have been experiencing and planted a little early.  Great!  You took a chance and you will be rewarded with early harvests.

I did not plant early.  This is partly because I am not much of a gambler and partly because life got in the way again.  I have learned that life is a whole lot like the weather.  While you can prepare for the storms you don’t know when they will come.  Luckily this storm is going to pass with very little damage.  However, it did sideline my dreams of a large, magazine worthy spring garden.


Take every chance you can to teach children about the miracle of gardening

I worked very hard this winter to get my dream garden ready.  I finally finished the granite walk path that runs from my deck all the way through my main gardens.  I also installed six water spigots that will eventually provide water to my drip irrigation system that will water twelve 35’ long rows.   Despite these valiant efforts, my dream garden will have to wait until the fall.   Oh well, such is life.  Sometimes things happen and gardens just don’t get planted on time.


Even though this is a busy time in the garden, take time to smell the roses!

In the space I have available in my plain, old, six row, crowed garden, I will plant cucumbers and contender bush beans from seed and Tomato and squash transplants.  If you are new to gardening know that there are many, many things that can be planted now (check out Patty Leander’s planting guide here).  While I will be growing contender bush beans you can plant all types of bush and vine beans.  You can also plant Southern Peas like Purple Hulls, Creamers and Crowders.  If beans are not your thing you can plant sweet potatoes from slips or from potato pieces just like you do your Irish potatoes.  In my opinion it is a little early for melon and gourds but I have some growing out of my compost pile so nature apparently says plant them now too.  Got a taste for hot, buttered sweet corn straight form the garden?  Plant it now.  It is also a great time to plant pumpkins.  I have 50/50 luck with pumpkins.  Sometimes they do well and sometimes bugs and fungus get to them before they get half grown.  My best pumpkins ever grew out of the compost pile on accident.  Because of this, I am truly going to throw some pumpkin seed in the compost pile and see what happens.


Spring planting is not just about vegetables. Plant some petunias or phlox now to brighten up your beds

Even though I did not get the garden of my dreams this spring, I am thankful for the garden I have.  I have come to realize that it is not what, or how much, I grow that really matters.  What really matters is being outside tilling the soil, pulling weeds, watering transplants, checking the poppies and larkspur to try and figure out when they are going to bloom, enjoying the bluebonnets or watching the first martins of the year return to their house.  Maybe this is why my garden expansion didn’t happen.  I just didn’t get to it.  When I am outside I am truly inspired, and often distracted, by the glory of the world that surrounds me.  And that’s ok.  While life happens, like nature, it is mostly a beautiful thing.   When I am in my garden I am surrounded by, and reminded of, the blessings of my own life and the majesty of my creator’s greatest creation.


Even though they are fading now, redbuds are one of the reasons I love being outside this time of year.

So tomorrow, when you are out there weeding, tilling and planting be sure to take time to enjoy this most beautiful time of the year.  Before you pull that dandelion, notice what a delicate, beautiful and perfectly designed flower it is. Enjoy the song of the mockingbird that is trying to lure a girlfriend into his nest and revel in the sight and smell of the beautiful roses that are blooming early this year.  For a long time now, I have realized that the act of gardening is much more than the art of growing food.  While all of your efforts will fill your stomach, it is still times between all of the activity that will feed your soul.

Happy Spring y’ all and happy gardening!

I share these posts on Our SimpleHomestead Blog Hop.  Be sure to stop by.  The “hop” has tons of great information from gardeners and homesteaders all over the world!

Tip of the Week – Week 22 in the Zone 9 Garden

I am getting a lot of questions about what to do about all of this rain.  I really don’t know.  According to the weather man we are experiencing “historical rain events”.  This means that nobody really knows how all of this water is going to affect our yards and gardens.  I am certain that if all of this moisture doesn’t kill our plants out right, we are going to have problems with fungus and mold and bugs once the sun comes out.  The only advice I have right now is pray that all of these “historical rain events” end soon!


Planting time is slipping away. However you can still plant southern peas like crowder and black eyes.


  • Pick cucumbers regularly. With this much rain it is not unreasonable to expect to harvest every day
  • Make pickles with all of those cucumbers
  • You can still plant basil. If you have basil ready to harvest pick often and pick early in the morning when flavors are strongest
  • We are nearing the end of planting season but you can still plant sweet potatoes, lima beans, okra and southern peas.  However, your planting window is closing.
Prune your climbing roses after they finish blooming

Prune your climbing roses after they finish blooming


  • Prune running roses after blooms fade. Train new growth onto or around structures
  • Feed roses and other blooming shrubs. Add compost monthly and blended fertilizers every six weeks
  • All of this rain is going to make fungal diseases a problem. Inspect roses regularly for black spot or powdery mildew.  Treat with a fungicides easily found at your garden center.
  • All of this rain will leach nutrients from your potted plants. Now is a great time to replant, or at a minimum, fertilize them. I like to use a slow release fertilize like Osmocote so they are feed all summer long


  • If you can stand it, do not mow until things dry out a bit, especially if you use a riding mower. The ground is so wet you can damage your lawn and your equipment.
This cool, wet weather has extended the time we have to plant small trees and shrubs.

This cool, wet weather has extended the time we have to plant small trees and shrubs.


  • Take advantage of the unusually cool temperatures and large amounts of water to plant small trees and shrubs. This extended planting season for trees and woody perennials is the only bright spot I can think of right now.
  • If you grow fruit trees in containers be sure and fertilize them regularly. Right now they have fruit so they need water and nutrients.  Feed weekly with a liquid organic solution like compost tea.  One of my favorite liquid organic applications is John’s Recipe from Lady Bug.