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Jessica’s Garden: It’s Not Too Late

potato-flowerIf you had asked me on the first day of Spring if I was ready for the next season, I likely would have without hesitation said yes. I took a trip with Grayson to Behnke’s in March to pick out seeds for this year’s garden.  During the following weeks, I spent many hours sowing seeds indoors.  Once my greenhouse was assembled, they were moved to their new home for the next several weeks as they grew stronger and bigger.

Then April passed by. And our chickens were still enjoying their temporary home in the fenced garden while we dedicated several weeks to transforming a portion of our barn into a functioning and protected chicken coop.  This required tearing down a termite and ant infested shed that was exactly where we needed the chicken run to be. And the seedlings were growing very quickly.

chickens-in-new-runSo by then, May had come. And the chickens were only just being relocated to their new home by mid-month. And my poor garden still needed attention before these seedlings could be transplanted; and did they ever need transplanting. We arranged to borrow my parent’s rototiller to turn the soil in our three gardens; the pumpkin and winter squash patch, the main veggie garden, and the cutting garden reserved for a friend’s wedding flowers.  After some organization, the rototiller made it safely to the farmhouse.  And then it promptly ceased working. Despite our efforts and frustrations, it refused to cooperate and come to life for next three weeks.

So begrudgingly, my husband and I both worked on turning and incorporating compost by hand into our 1800 square foot cutting garden.  This was a major time setback, but with this being a priority, it had to be done however possible.  We ended up in a similar situation with half of the 800 square foot vegetable garden.  Then by some kind of a miracle, the hunk of junk came to life.  We were able to till the squash patch and remainder of the veggie patch with the help of modern technology.

vegetable-garden_june-2015And here it is June. After many days and hours and an additional five hours today, I am relieved and excited to report that all three gardens are planted with everything that is ready to be transplanted at this point; leaving only ten percent left to plant once the seedlings grow a little. We’ve planted about 20 heirloom tomatoes, 15 assorted hot and sweet peppers, 10 assorted summer squash, tomatillos, 30 potatoes, 10 winter squash and pumpkins, a wide array of herbs and the many, many wedding wildflowers.

So here it is, nearly mid June and the gardens are finally coming together. The moral of this story is, although I got an unusually late start on things this season, it’s not too late.  I may have to wait a few extra weeks to see a tomato or pepper, but I am okay with that.

Posted By: Jessica J. Crawford Behnkes Garden Blogger

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

This Post Has 2 Comments

    1. Most vegetables you can still plant! Tomatoes, peppers, summer squash (if you want to grow winter squash, get them in this weekend), etc. A really good resource for planting dates is the University of Maryland Extension’s Home & Garden website. Go to: and click on the publication number HG16. It gives spring and and fall planting dates and even how even how far apart to plant them.

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