COVID-19 Gardening

Excited about this Year’s Garden

garden view

I’m so excited about this year’s garden. In spring of the year the garden we plant always thrills me, but somehow this year I am beyond excited. I go to bed thinking about the garden and I wake up think about the garden.

Some of the exuberance comes from the new weird world we live in. I have more time to spend on the garden and the important role it plays in our lives seems to have reached another level.

Certainly the addition of cattle panels to the garden has amped me up. I love the way they look and can’t wait to see if they improve our harvest.

I’m trying a few new varieties this year so that’s also part of my enthusiasm.

  • We have three new raspberry plants
  • Three new blackberry plants
  • Two new apple trees: Golden Delicious and Wagener
  • Two new Concord grapevines
  • I’m trying to grow Edisto 47 melons for the first time and its the first try at growing a melon I found from Sow True Seed called Hearts of Gold
  • Thanks to Bill Burnett we’re trying Chinese Okra for the first time
  • And the thing I’m most excited about growing for the first time is Malabar Red Stemmed Spinach

I’ve shared my great love of spinach with you before. My typical lunch is a salad made with spinach and lettuce. The only downside to spinach and lettuce is they are spring plants and quickly fade away as summer’s heat comes on. Malabar Red Stemmed Spinach is a hot season plant. The spinach grows on a vine and is supposed to stand up to the sultry heat of summer. I sure hope it does.

If you garden, what are you most excited about growing this year?


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  • Reply
    Jeff Loflin
    May 23, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Hearts of gold cantaloupe are the sweetest cantaloupes that I have ever eaten, they are really champion here in Nevada in Fallon Nevada they have hearts of gold festivals and that is the main place that they are grown. They are so good for cantaloupe pies. Hope you enjoy your melons can’t wait to hear about them

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 22, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    My garden finally has a fence all the way around it. It don’t have a gate yet so I’m blocking the opening some old bed springs temporarily. I had a yard full of deer this morning. Without the fence it could have been a garden full of deer.
    All the rain recently has everything beat down that was up and growing except cabbage. This year I has a garden fabric tent over them. It is supposed to keep away the butterfly that lays eggs on them. The pretty butterfly’s eggs turn into ugly cabbage worms. I hope it works. I love cabbage! and kraut!
    I’m glad your garden is doing well and hope all the rain don’t wash it all away.

  • Reply
    May 22, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    We out 2 beds of cucumber beds and the frost got all of it. We’re going to have to plant them over i love a garden

  • Reply
    May 22, 2020 at 10:58 am

    Your garden looks so pretty! All the potential in the world. Like the clothes line too.

  • Reply
    Gaye Blaine
    May 22, 2020 at 10:29 am

    Ron Stephens: Parsley seed is STUBBORN!! Yoy need to soak the seeds 24-48 hours. Then plant them. You should get loads of parsley the first year. Then parsley goes to seed the second year. So start fresh every year. I love the taste of curly parsley. Give parsley another chance!!

    • Reply
      Ron Stephens
      May 22, 2020 at 8:46 pm

      Is that parsley or parsnips? I have parsley and keep it by self-seeding.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    May 22, 2020 at 10:18 am

    I love your garden posts. You’ve inspired us to go all in this year. We pulled up our old beds and just got our new boxes from an artist who makes raised beds as a side hustle (helping the arts where we can!).

    Next week looks to be the week to plant finally. With snow only a week and a half ago, you never know up here!

  • Reply
    May 22, 2020 at 10:09 am

    I have always grown a garden, and I am with AW Griff, I have somehow ended up with a groundhog. I even got online to see what they would not eat, and they eat everything, but so far have left the potatoes alone. I went out and got some Mr. Stripey’s and planted closer to house in flower bed. Nothing has touched the Community garden, and nothing is messing with it so far.

    I am with you Tipper on the spinach. That and mushrooms may be my favorite thing. I have lived on spinach Quesadillas. I cannot grow it well, and Mr. groundhog would probably love it, so it is always on my grocery list.

    • Reply
      Ed Ammons
      May 22, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      Properly prepared groundhog is good with about anything!

  • Reply
    Steve Cox
    May 22, 2020 at 9:28 am

    As a Florida gardener we are moving into our dead season. It is almost impossible to grow in the heat and humidity of our summer. A friend of mine a few years ago come up with a way to extend his season for lettuce and spinach using to cattle panels. He made an arch over his beds with the cattle panels, let his pole beans grow over them, but left some planting space on the east side of the arch to grow lettuce and spinach. Giving it full sun until about noon then under the protection of the beans and the arch. An additional benefit was that when the beans where ready to pick they were hanging down under the arch. He never had to look for them.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    May 22, 2020 at 8:46 am

    The only new thing I am growing is dill from seed with little idea of how I will use it. I will have way more than enough. Oh, I forgot. I am growing dwarf sunflowers. They are supposed to only get 2 feet high. I did plant ‘sweet mint’ which is new to me and we have been using it in tea. I tried parsnips again this spring but none came up so I guess I will not try anymore.

  • Reply
    May 22, 2020 at 8:40 am

    My garden is twice the size it usually is. I got just about everything planted May 1st, put up a deer fence and anxiously waited for the seeds to sprout. It has frosted more than once in May, had a hard freeze several nights and hasn’t stopped raining all month. The weeds are growing at a frightening pace.
    My grandson planted two apple trees on his farm last year and planned to add several more this year. I went to at least twenty stores in three counties looking for any kind of fruit trees for his birthday. The Wal-Mart in Louisville had one puny Granny Smith apple tree. I bought it and went looking for berry vines to add to the gift. I’m still looking.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    May 22, 2020 at 8:32 am

    What a gardening enthusiast you are and your garden looks great in my opinion! Your years of gardening experience are definitely paying off it appears and so I send prayers for a bountiful harvest for you after a labor of love! Your plot is very nice and well thought out before put into motion! All the produce you mention sounds delicious and very healthy! I suppose I have an heirloom tomato and I have several totes of cucumbers in the works. I got a blackberry and raspberry bush planted and it’s been freezing, torrential rain, etc fighting against little old me. As long as my begonias, Scarlett sage ( planted in memory of my grandma who raised and loved me— do I ever miss that lady!) and some other flowers, a few arbovitae and boxwood shrubs in my clay soil, I will be ok. Wish me luck cause I’m going to need it much more than you. I try but that’s it for its a hobby and joy for me. No one else is much interested and the mate will say “ Oh yeah” and “ how nice” as he watches from a “safe” space where he won’t be asked to participate too much except an occasional dug hole or shlepp ( carry or drag) in dirt bags. Smh and leaving Florida for home today. It rained here all day yesterday. Maybe I can get a little produce in NC. I can’t wait to see the NC/ Fancy Gap cut in the mountain!!! Home is close from there, I think! There’s no place like home!

  • Reply
    Wendy B
    May 22, 2020 at 8:11 am

    Your garden looks great! You inspired me to purchase some Malabar Red Stemmed Spinach seeds. I can’t wait to try them. I love fresh spinach and I am bummed when it gets too hot for it to grow. I enjoy your blog. I was born and raised in western Iowa, but I have always been drawn to the “old” ways and traditions.

  • Reply
    Mary Joohnson
    May 22, 2020 at 8:10 am

    My concord grape vines are loaded this year. About 3 weeks. till ripening.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    May 22, 2020 at 7:53 am

    Love your garden picture. I’m excited about my garden too. I’ve planted one more apple tree, a mulberry tree, and one additional thornless blackberry. Rural King only had one Natchez Blackberry and I bought it. It’s supposed to be more upright than my Triple Crown ones. I’m also experimenting with a muscadine grape. It should be ok for I’m between a zone 6-7. I ordered a couple of heartnuts that should have already been here. I had two of these trees where I used to live and they are really good. The nuts grow in pods and the hulls are no problem like black walnuts and butternuts are.
    I ended up making my raised beds 6ft.x8ft.x16inches and I thought of Ed when I filled them up. That would have been an easier job back when I was alive. For my first time I put out Egyptian Spinach. It is supposed to withstand hot summers. Only have one complaint. A groundhog ate my 9 broccoli plants.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    May 22, 2020 at 7:30 am

    Tipper–Unquestionably one of the joys of gardening is trying new things. Like you, I’ve got some Chinese okra going thanks to Bill Burnett, and as is the case almost every year I try some new varieties of tomatoes. This year Black Krim and Carolina Gold are among them. I also planted old-time Lazy Woman creasy (or greasy) beans for the first time but I got a lousy stand. In fact, I’ve had significant trouble with getting all the seed I ordered from Sow True Seed to sprout. I’m wondering if part of the problem has been the unusually cool spring. Add to that enough rain in the last three days (over seven inches) to cause some washing in my garden, and I’ve got something of a mess where, at least from the photo, you’ve got a masterpiece in progress.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 22, 2020 at 6:57 am

    Tip, I’m excited too, your garden is looking great. There is all the little new plants coming up, then there is all the new stuff, berries and fruit, then there is the new spinach! You and I share a love for spinach and I can’t wait to see how this new one grows…all summer!
    I love how tidy and orderly everything is with all the cow panels around in different places. You do an amazing amount of gardening considering the mountains efforts to shade you!
    It’s going to be a bountiful year!

  • Reply
    Paula V
    May 22, 2020 at 6:31 am

    Tipper: We don’t make a garden, but we do go morel hunting in the spring. We only got three yesterday, but they were monsters…as tall as a 16 oz water bottle. Can’t wait to eat them!

    • Reply
      aw griff
      May 22, 2020 at 9:50 am

      WOW!!! Paula V, never seen one that big. You reckon it was all the rain?

  • Reply
    May 22, 2020 at 5:33 am

    Your garden looks good. My Uncle loved turnip greens he would eat them several times a week when they were in season, as he got older he began to have issues with blood clots, he’d got in serious trouble on several occasions that put him in the hospital, they finally figured out it was the turnip greens he was eating, they are loaded with vitamin K and it will thicken your blood, it’s probable OK to eat occasionally but he was going way overboard.

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