Spring Garden 2023

VermontCathy Posts: 1,815 ✭✭✭✭✭

It's that time of the year in New England. The ground has finally thawed, the snow has melted, and the rains have begun.

I spent some time this weekend working the soil in the raised bed, turning it over, digging out grass and dandelion weeds, and planting the cool-weather crops. The first wave of lettuce, mustard, and spinach is in the ground, and is just beginning to sprout.

I also planted a couple of beds of peas, including both Tall Telephone (Alderman) pole peas and Lincoln bush peas. There are several more types of pea seeds soaking on the counter, waiting for a break in the rain when I can plant more Tall Telephone, Maestro bush, and Tom Thumb mini-peas.

The tomatoes have gotten so large indoors under lights that I'm having trouble keeping them going until I can plant them outside, which usually happens about mid-May here. So another 3 weeks of keeping them going and hardening them off outside on warm, sunny days awaits.

I am hoping to buy some mint plants locally and put them in the ground. It has been impossible to buy dried mint in the stores for several years, and it is so easy to grow (almost a weed) that it's silly not to grow my own. I have limited space in the main garden, but mint will grow in shade and poor soil, so I can put it elsewhere in the yard. If my local nursery doesn't have any, I'll have to order it.

Peppermint will not come true from seed, so I'd prefer to buy actual plants. Spearmint and other mint variations can be purchased from seed, but I really love peppermint tea and other uses of it.

If necessary, I can mail-order them, though mail delivery the last few months has been poor. The local post office is short four people, and a fifth is retiring in May. Our own mailman was temporarily off duty getting surgery. Labor shortages continue and I expect that will be true for many years.


  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,753 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @VermontCathy wow you did a lot this weekend! I like to buy mint as well then take cuttings and root them. Still trying this year to find Tarragon and I don't think I am going to have much luck again this year.

    Since @Torey guessed my mystery plant I can say that it is Camellia sinensis and I picked up another one on Sunday.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,127 ✭✭✭✭

    Wow, you are way ahead of me on getting you garden going. Between weather and my health, things have been kind of slow around here.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,815 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The season here is quite short. If I don't get my plants and seeds in the ground as soon as possible, I miss out.

    I'm also eager to start eating fresh food from the garden. Normally I would have been eating claytonia for several weeks now, but a hungry deer got into the open cold frame and ate most of it before I could start harvest. (The cold frames are not inside the deer fence.)

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,815 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I did more digging of weeds and grass out of the beds yesterday. Four beds of peas have been planted, but some of that is 3-year-old seed and may not germinate. If the old seeds fail, I'll just plant beans in those beds instead.

    I never have enough space for everything I want to grow.

    The tomatoes are getting almost too large for the indoor growing area. Still a couple weeks before I can be reasonably safe planting them outside. Last night temperatures dropped a few degrees below freezing.