Sunday was not a day of rest for us. We were up early, ate a big breakfast, and headed out to the community garden to finally put our plants in the ground. I was thinking that we might be the only people out there who still hadn't planted but I was happily surprised to see many other families already there!
We brought with us an assortment of plants that we had purchased from Funke's Greenhouse and some seed packets. Perhaps we went overboard in the tomato department? You tell me.
We planted 12 tomato plants.
Is that too many?
I couldn't help myself. If you are in the Cincinnati area and planning to plant over Memorials Day weekend, go to Funke's. I would not lead you astray, I promise. You can visit their website and find the list of all of their tomato varietals available. While perhaps the selection isn't as strong now as it was when we went two weeks ago, they had so many plants that I imagine there will still be many types for purchase.
We chose our plants based on the descriptions on the website as well as any emotional pull we might have to the name of the plant.
For example, I could not stop thinking about White Wonders. From Funke's website: Medium size white fruit inside and out. Thick flesh with very little gel. Fruits can last up to two months after picking.
White fruit! How could I resist? And Tim chose Mr. Stripey for a similar reason--they are red and yellow striped! The pure entertainment factor of growing and eating something that seems unusual was enough to seal the deal. We also chose a few others and purchased 2 of each type of heirloom varietal.
When we went out to the garden to plant on Sunday morning, it was a beautiful sunny day, but the ground was still very wet from a week of rain. We did our best to stake out our rows for plant and follow the grid we had created, but even the best laid plans have the potential to be flawed!
We really tried to plant each row in a straight line, but digging holes in muddy dirt is really difficult. With every step our feet were sinking down deeper! Tim manned the shovel while Melissa and I were responsible for plant placement. Melissa was really the most helpful garden assistant I could have ever asked for. She had no qualms about throwing down her gardening gloves and getting her fingers into the dirt. I'm just not really a get-into-the-mud girl. I admit I might have done a bit more directing than planting as the morning wore on, but I think we were all working in our areas of strength.
Tim likes to dig holes (man stuff) and Melissa likes details (she is her father's daughter!).
We also planted 6 pepper plants, 2 eggplants, 2 butternut squash plants, and 2 watermelon plants. We had the best of intentions to plant several different things from seed, but frankly we just ran out of room! We decided to prioritize. From seed we planted carrots, green onions, and cantaloupe.
Melissa had a really great system of poking holes in the ground with her finger and then dropping a little seed in. And she was not afraid of a little dirt under the fingernails as you can see in this photo!
We learned a lot about plants just from reading the tags. For example, we had no idea that you have to create a little hill to plant butternut squash, watermelon, and cantaloupe. Also, several of our plants "run," meaning they grow sideways across the dirt and the suggested distance between each of these plants was six feet! We are lucky that our garden plot is on the end of an aisle, because we are going to be directing our watermelon plant to grow out of our garden into the empty unused field. Our cantelope and butternut squash should have enough room to mature inside of our plot.
I can barely sleep at night dreaming up recipes. I hope you have similarly exciting things to look forward to this summer!