Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Planting season

Yes, the planting can start any time that it is not raining, and in this part of the world it could mean an hour today, a half day next week. So, after collecting my tools and examining my beds left almost fallow, (except for those lettuces and beets I collected) I have the big task of deciding what and where to plant.

I've been rotating the planting of legumes so I'm pretty sure that the soil is ready for the new season. It is pretty cool here most of summer, even though the black covering warms up the soil a bit, so, I cannot dream of tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. Not here. But I can plant peas from now until September and if careful, I can get a constant crop of lettuces and other greens. Legumes do well, favas, beans and all kinds of peas. Broccoli and cowliflower have a short season.

I will start with lettuces, arugulas and sets of onions. If I get garlic and potatoes sprouting, I will separate and plant these as well. Between plantings, I will begin to weed, a process that will never stop. Thank God for the black coverings, expensive to purchase the first year, but they last for years.

Last year I almost bought a freezer for all the extra peas and green beans I harvested. By September, we can't stand the taste of anything I pluck from the garden. Something about all that abundance dulls the taste buds. Thank God my friends do not get tired of all those good things.

Now, if I only had friends who grew too many tomatoes, eggplants and peppers willing to trade for beans and lettuces. I would be living in a perfect world.

In our corner of the world, the end of rainy season corresponds to garden season. At this time everybody is busy outdoors, nobody emails anybody, and all clubs take a hiatus. Time to garden, time to enjoy long days and sun in abbondance, time even for us coastal gardeners to dream of jungle flowers and tropical drinks on the patio.

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