Garden plan and journal 2001

My Vegetable Garden Plot

I am adding 3 new rows to my vegetable garden so there will be a total of 14 raised rows, each about 25′ wide (running north-south). The rows are about 2′ wide with pathways running between. The pathways are covered with grass clipping and shredded leaves to keep the weeds down. Before planting, I till in compost and add a mixture of bone meal, greensand, bloodmeal, wood ashes, and sometimes cottonseed meal (with a final nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium ratio of approximately 3-6-6). Once everything is planted, I put down soaker hoses (the seeping kind) on the rows and mulch the raised rows with compost.

Below is what I planted for the 2001 season.

North South
Peppers and misc.
Tomatoes – 10 plants Cherokee Purple (north end), Sugar Snack, Viva Italia, Roma VF, Jolly, Juliet, Yellow Pear, Brandywine (2), Sun Gold (south end) Marigolds interplanted
Madeline’s Strawberries
Tomatoes – 8 plants Mortgage Lifter (2) (north end), Mr. Stripey (2), Supersteak (2), Caspian Pink (2) (south end) Boy O Boy Marigolds interplanted
Cabbage Early Jersey Wakefield Broccoli Calabrese Cabbage Dynamo Lettuces Reine des Glace, Buttercrunch, Esmerelda Cauliflower Ravella Cabbage China Flash Broccoli Premium Crop
Flowers: Snapdragon Sonnet Mixed, Salvia Hotline Blue Streak, Zinnia Profusion Cherry, Cosmos Cosmic Orange, Coleus
Breadseed Poppies (self-seeded) Peppers Whopper (2) (north), Big Chili (1), La Bamba (4), Sizzler (1), Golden Summer (4), Sweet Banana (3), Lady Bell (3) (south), Coleus interplanted
Chicory Witloof Zoom Lettuce Reine des Glace Parsley Green River Beet Detroit Dark Red Mustard Mizuna Radish Red Fortress Beet Rainbow Mix
Cukes Green Knight, Palace King, Radishes Eggplant Whopper, Millionaire, Petunias Bean Romano Pole Brussels Sprouts, Petunias Celeriac Sweet Basil (2 north), Genovese (2), Cinnamon (1), Dani Lemon (1)
Sorrel Carrot Scarlet Nantes Kholrabi Kossak Spinach Space Carrot Icon Kale Winterbor Raab Broc. Lettuce Simpson Lettuce North Pole Rhubard Chard Blue Lake Green Beans
Onions: Giallo Milano, Candy, and Super Star Cilantro (self-seeded from last year)
squash and beans
Gladiolas (came up from last year), Salvia – Flare, Strata, Victoria, Vista Purple Shades


Thurs., March 8, 2001–The sun is out and the purple jumbo crocuses outside my window are opening. They started blooming about a week ago, but spent the last couple days closed up tight because it’s been so cold. Today (around 11 AM) the temperature is up to 56?F, up from below freezing first thing this morning. The day is bright and sunny, with some scattered clouds.

Fri., March 9, 2001–At 7:30 this morning it feels like spring. The temperature is right around 35?F and the ground is wet–it must have sprinkled last night. It doesn’t seem like it got below freezing over night. The plants all seem less stressed out! Afternoon–It’s definitely a March day–it has been windy all day!

Sat., March 10, 2001–It dawned clear and brilliantly blue this morning, almost 40? F with a brisk northwest wind playing the silver maple outside our window. A good day to clear the winter blanket of mulch off the rows so they can start warming up and drying off in preparation for planting. But instead of working in the garden, we’re going to see the Harlem Globetrotters. Maybe we’ll still have time for the garden when we return.

Sun., March 11, 2001–Got out first thing this morning and raked the mulch off the rows. It was crisp and chilly but the wind was calm. The bright sky has a high milky layer of clouds east to west across half, the other half is clear blue. I’m surprised how quiet it is, even for a Sunday morning. Above the faint traffic sound, I hear many birds–the inevitable crows, the more subtle mourning doves, many other smaller songbirds I don’t recognize. I even briefly hear a distant flock of geese that I can’t find in the sky.

The earth under the mulch is exactly as we left it last fall, when we tilled everything under. There are faint traces of frost on the surface of the soil, and in the places that weren’t mulched there are dozens of tiny frost-heaved stones but strangely, in many places it is dry to the touch. The mulch must have held what little precipitation we had over the winter. Now the sun can work its magic and we anticipate planting soon. The garden will be ready for us before we are ready for it. Oh well.

The Globetrotters are to professional basketball what the WWF is to wrestling or what presidential debates are to debates. What a blast.

Mon., March 12, 2001–Sunny and cool (about 52?F)–nice enough to work outside. I cut back the dead raspberry and blackberry canes and tied up the live canes to bamboo stakes. Now I need to catch up on my seed starting!

Tues., March 13, 2001 – Yesterday evening it started raining and it must have kept raining off and on all night. It’s in the mid-40s this morning and everything is thoroughly wet. The sky is overcast but the rain seems to have stopped. The crocuses outside my window are a bit battered from last night’s rain. We had thunderstorms in the afternoon with a short period of heavy rain (right when the kids were getting on their school busses afetr school).

Wed., March 14, 2001–Cool and overcast in the afternoon.

Thurs., March 15, 2001–The day is starting out cool and overcast.

Fri., March 16, 2001–Rainy and cold!

Sat., March 17, 2001–I finally got most of my seeds started–I’m way behind schedule! I went looking for the Jiffy pellets that I had left from last year, but they had been thrown out by accident. Luckily, I had the smaller-sized ones that I ordered this year, and I called in an order for the large ones. Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Sun., March 18, 2001–Cold, but pretty. The daffodils are in bloom!

Mon., March 19, 2001–Very cold! We woke up to frost on the ground and a temp. of about 30?F.

Tues., March 20, 2001–The day started at 37?F when we got up and stayed cold. The forsythia are almost in full bloom.

Wed., March 21, 2001–It rained steadily all day, with heavy rain from time to time. It started out at 45?F this morning and stayed about there all day. Julia, our silver tabby cat, went out when we went grocery shopping. We couldn’t catch her to put her back inside before we left. When we got back, she was completely soaking wet and crying at one of the windows. Now that she’s dry, she feels wonderfully clean–like she had a bath.

Thurs., March 22, 2001–It was 41?F when I got up–so I am hoping that I can do some gardening today. The wind is pretty steady, making the day seem colder.

Fri., March 23, 2001–Still very windy, making the 59?F seem much colder.

Sat., March 24, 2001–The temperature warmed up some and the winds of the past few days dried up the ground enough for tilling and planting. We tilled three of the raised rows and I planted some of the cool-weather vegetables. We also spread fertilizer and a pre-emergence weed-control product called WOW! sold by Gardens Alive (

I moved all the German Irises that I had in various spots around the yard to a new garden created when I took over half of the lawn in the front yard last fall. I’m hoping that they will be happier in a less competitive spot and also more impressive when they bloom all grouped together. I also moved some achillea from the vegetable garden to the front and added it in amongst the Echinacea (Purple Coneflower) in the berry garden. I also finished shaping and cutting back the herbs. The winter was so mild that the rosemary I left in the herb garden survived and looks pretty healthy–and the summer savory is sending up new sprouts.

I started a couple trays of seeds. The Jiffy pellets I ordered from Harris Seeds ( arrived on Thursday. (Many thanks for the quick service!)

Sun., March 25, 2001–Nice cool day. We walked to Mary Anne’s (that’s Dennis’ sister) place to visit with family.

Mon., March 26, 2001–After finally planting out my hardened broccoli, cabbage, and other plants on Saturday, now the weather decides that there was not enough winter. We wake up to a temperature of 26?F. And the poor little plants look very upset in the garden.

Tues., March 27, 2001–Last night Dennis covered the transplants in the garden with blankets because the temperature dropped down in the 20s again. And the winds are back.

Thurs., March 29, 2001–Steady rain today, with temperatures in the upper 30s. This is great for the plants we set out and it will help soak in the fertilizer we spread around the yard and gardens on the weekend.

Fri., March 30, 2001–Started more seeds–tomatoes and zinnias and such. (I’m very late with my seed starting this year!)

Sat., March 31, 2001–More rain last night and this morning. It’s in the upper 40s today and fairly calm. The jumbo crocuses are almost completely faded, just a couple late rogues left. The snow crocuses were finished off by the rains we had this week.

Wed., April 4, 2001–The forsythias still look very good. The cool weather agrees with them.

Easter Sunday, April 15, 2001–Madeline and I arrived home from a week in Spain. We stayed in the area of Malaga, on the Mediterranean coast–Costa del Sol. Dennis said that we had a lot of rain in the week we were gone, enough that he didn’t need to water anything. The forsythias dropped their blossoms today, their bright green branches reaching up from pools of yellow petals at the ground.

Mon., April 16, 2001–I started the last of my seeds today, cosmos, okra, dusty miller.

Tues., April 24, 2001–I planted some seed in the vegetable garden today: raab broccoli, carrots, kale, kholrabi, lettuces, beans, and spinach.

Wed., April 25, 2001–I began tilling a new area at the top end of the vegetable garden so I can add three new raised rows this year. I got the sod loosened and some of it raked into piles.

Thur., April 26, 2001–Today I planted out some of the plants I started indoors: agastache, ageratum, basils, brussels sprouts, catnip, cleome, hollyhocks, impatiens, malva, milkweed, and zinnias.

Fri., April 27–I did a lot of weeding today and neatening up of the yard. I brought out the indoor plants for their “summer vacation” outdoors. I started nasturtiums in two of the hanging pots on the front porch.

Sat., April 28, 2001–I tilled and spaded a long bed next to the north fenceline–where I have four columnar apples I planted in 2000 and liriope along the fence. The new bed is about 40 feet long and averages about 3.5 to 4 feet wide. I planted sunflowers (seed), zinnias, and amaranthus there. And plan to add gladiolas, dalias, and other annuals eventually. I also set out eggplant transplants in the vegetable garden and planted liatris bulbs in the front yard with the yarrow and coneflowers.

Tues., May 1, 2001–We went to Great Falls to have a picnic for our 20th anniversary but got chased away but nasty biting mosquitos!

Fri., May 4, 2001–I did more weeding. I used up the woodchip mulch that was taking up one of the compost bins mulching under the forsythia and redbud at the bottom of the yard. Picked the first lettuce today. Fresh lettuce is so much better than the store-bought stuff. We have Buttercrunch (my all-time favorite), Esmerelda (also very good), and Reine des Glace, wonderful!!

Sat., May 5, 2001–I tilled a 3-foot strip next to the front walk on the south side to complete the herb garden I began last fall. I moved the herbs that had been mixed in with other plants in the front corner border to the new sidewalk border. Now the thyme, sage, summer savory, lemon grass, lavender, oregano, marjoram, chives, hysop, and rosemary are all grouped along the front walk. Picked the first of the Calabrese Broccoli–very tasty. The plant is the kind that sends more flowering shoots after the main “head.” I planted the tomato plants in the garden and interplanted marigolds in amongst them.

Mon., May 7, 2001–I set out Century Celosia, and more amaranthus in the new sunflower border today. I planted Fairway Rose Coleus, several kinds of Salvia, and Celosia Mahogany Red transplants in one of the flower rows in the vegetable garden. I put in the pepper plants.

Sun., May 13, 2001–I planted out a few transplants today: my banana seedling and several annuals and perennials started indoors this spring.

Tues., May 15, 2001–I set out all the bulbs and tubers I bought this spring: dalias, gladiolas, and cannas.

Sat., May 26, 2001–I planted cucumbers, Palace King and Green Knight, and radishes, French Breakfast, Cherry Bell, and Red Fortress. I also started some Romano Pole Beans between rain storms.

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