With the snow almost entirely melted after yesterday’s storm, it’s time to start thinking seriously about prepping the garden beds and planting those first seeds in the vegetable garden. It feels like a late start this year, but as I look back through pictures (like the one below), I see that we didn’t even start to mess with the veggie garden until 17 April our first year at Three Bird Farm.
Looking back at those pictures, it’s pretty amazing to think about how much we’ve done in five growing seasons. The wonderful folks from whom we bought Three Bird Farm did a great job putting in raised beds and a nice thick commercial landscape fabric. Last year, however, we began replacing a bunch of the beds, as they were rotting out.
We’re also recalling that during that first growing season back in 2013, we had no fence around the vegetable garden (see below).
The end result was that, while we got the first seedlings into the ground on 8 May, on or around the 17th, we lost almost everything to a groundhog. So we started planning!
The plan was a simple affair that would start as a barrier for groundhogs and at a “deterrent” height for deer (with the possibility of going higher if need be).
We then cut pickets from reclaimed wood.
We installed the pickets and then eventually added wire to the inside.
Finally we re-planted and had a pretty good growing season as you can see in this picture from 25 July.
In 2014, our first day in the veggie garden was 12 April.
Karen worked on the beds, and Ret built a proper gate (instead of just the wire we would pull across).
You can see we ran out of pickets in 2013, but the entire garden did have a wire fence, and each year we’ve added more pickets as time permits. The garden entrance got an upgrade last year, as you may recall from this post. We also added gravel between the beds and over the landscape fabric in 2013.
While we started in the garden on the 12th of April in 2014, we didn’t plant the first seeds until the 15th. The first seeds in the garden that year were peas (it was leaks the year before).
Then on the 16th, we had snow!
In addition to working in the veggie garden, we started adding a gravel drive between the barn and the garden.
The traditional last freeze date here on the Midcoast is around the third week in May. Once that date passes, it’s time to get serious. Below is our planting plan for 2014.
In 2015, we had April snow that delayed our garden efforts. For example, we woke to this accumulating snow on the 13th.
Of course these late snows melt quickly, but we didn’t start planting anything until early May. In part, this was because we had a significant amount of clean-up to do from a late autumn storm that brought down a lot of trees.
Finally on May 4th we got to planting (the below picture is from the 5th).
In 2016, we were in the vegetable garden for the first day on 26 March, and we planted peas on the 27th. We had some early April snow, but prepping and planting moved a long at a nice pace that year.
In spring 2016, we also added a bridge and that’s the year that the Orvis Company decided to pick-up the Angler’s Pint….so pretty much life changed drastically, and we’re still trying to catch up!
In 2017, we didn’t get into the garden for our first day until 9 April. With Angler’s Pint craziness going into our first Christmas season with Orvis, we didn’t do the fall clean-up, so opening day presented a big task….oh! And we also got ducklings! 🙂
So today is 8 April 2018, and we have yet to start in the garden. Are we late? Here’s the recap:
2013 – First Day in Garden: 17April First Planting: 8 May
2014 – First Day in Garden: 12 April First Planting: 15 April
2015 – First Day in Garden: Not Recorded First Planting: 4 May
2016 – First Day in Garden: 26 March First Planting: 27 March
2017 – First Day in Garden: 2 April First Planting: 11 April
Time to get out there!