The Joys of Spring Gardening

Now that the snow is gone, we are ready to get gardening! Besides providing us with healthy fruits and vegetables to eat, gardening is a great sources of exercise. It's a great family project too!

After several years of battling Bermuda grass, we went to raised bed gardening. We have 17 raised beds, enough space to grow all we can eat.

This is my spinach bed. I planted this bed in the fall and it over-wintered well even though I forgot to cover it up before the snow storms we had in February. The metal ribs you see help hold the row cover off the spinach to prevent frost bite scars.

My strawberry bed needs a little attention! I weeded it and cut it back drastically in the fall. It has sent out runners to almost entirely fill the bed. Ideally, the bed needs more dirt in mounds to raise the plants up so that the berries don't sit on the soil.

Right before our two big snow storms, I planted peas. I followed the Ag Extension's Office Spring Planting Guide as to timing. Guess they didn't confer with Mother Nature! I planted the peas on either side of metal row cover supports with the hopes that the peas would use them as a trellis. I'll let you know how it works!

The peas are slowly coming up with all the warm weather we're having this week.

Several years ago we started two asparagus beds. They are expensive to get started, but produce for years without a lot of additional work once they are established. This is an "after weeding" picture! The asparagus looks like dead sticks. Give it a week of warm weather and rain and this bed will be teaming with little green stalks of asparagus!

I have 3 beds of onions right now. Want some starts? I thinned some onions out and put them in a separate bed (middle picture). We use a lot of onions in cooking, so we grow a lot! The nice thing about onions is that you can grow them all year long here in west Tennessee.

What's next? I need to get my lettuce, kale, and carrots planted and any other cool spring crops I want to enjoy in early summer.

Please comment - what are you growing in your garden this spring?