So last weekend we had seven yards of “clean” pulverized black dirt delivered. Choice dirt! Some of the garden said last year it could use a boost. Agreed! By coincidence, an inch and a half of heavy wet snow got here the same time as the dirt. Pretty! The dirt cost money, the snow came free and I’m thinking we got a good deal on both. Choice dirt, gorgeous late snow, sun’s coming out in no time and we have a 7-yard pile of pulverized dirt to rake over two-thirds of the garden. The other third is good.

So the dirt’s spread and raked out so that whole part is under 4-6” of “boost.” It’s getting time to till it in, pound the stakes, stretch the string and hoe rows every 32 inches, 40 feet long, straight!

Then Kathy and I start the annual discussion of where we plant the tomatoes and peppers. That gets settled first, I imagine, because no other plants take up as many rows and as much garden space as they do. That’s cool, so much of the canning and pickling is done with the variety of tomatoes and peppers we put in.

On to the other transplants - the broccoli and cauliflower and cabbage share a row, maybe a row and half. For sure, plenty of cabbage for the stock of kraut. Brussels sprouts are a favorite so a dozen or so of them.

We’ll direct seed the beets, turnips, parsnips, a few rows of corn, some zucchini, double row of string beans, pole beans up the fence, lettuce, radish, dill, cucumbers up the fence and on the ground, sweet peas and pea pods up the fence. Onions, mostly Vidalia. At least a full row of carrots, maybe a double row. Red potatoes, whites some years. We did Yukon golds a few years but reds seem to fit us. They store till the holidays! Almost as good as the root veggies. Plant a few herbs so we can say we did. We got chives, what else do you need. I know! We’ll have watermelon!

Somewhere along the line we’re planting into the other third of the garden. Alongside the rhubarb, not too tight against the blueberry bushes or black raspberries or the two rows of red raspberries put in last fall. Probably won’t pick the red raspberries this first year. Enjoy, anticipate next year! Pick the other berries this year!

So planning and planting a garden is fun, easy, relaxing and the annual “discussion” is kind of a debate. Kathy says, “I think the tomatoes should go over here this year.” I says, “No, let’s put them and the peppers side by side over here.” And so it goes figuring out what fits where and how are we getting along. Fine, mostly!

We decided last year to move some 40 perennials from a terraced garden that will be a strawberry patch. And we decided we have that large vegetable garden so why not have a perennial garden in the middle. I don’t know the perennials’ names. Kathy does and they’re pretty and they cut down on the veggie-growing space, a plus!

When the planting’s done, it’s time for the daily stroll down to see what’s up. The lettuce, peas and beans get up fast, only a dozen or strolls. Carrots must think you like walking up and down hills. And so it goes for the summer. Watch seeds make plants, watch plants make fruit, snack on cherry tomatoes. This gardening’s a chore, we wouldn’t trade it for the world. Glad we don’t have a one-handled wheelbarrow!

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