Gardens, Raised Beds, Spring Planting, Vegetable Garden

Are We Late? A Brief History of Spring

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 11.26.57 AM

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.

veggie garden april 17 2013

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.

Spring 2013

We’re also recalling that during that first growing season back in 2013, we had no fence around the vegetable garden (see below).

14 april 2013 veggie garden

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!

2013 veggie garden fence plan

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).

garden fence posts 2013

We then cut pickets from reclaimed wood.

garden reclaimed pickets 2013

We installed the pickets and then eventually added wire to the inside.

pickets garden 2013

Finally we re-planted and had a pretty good growing season as you can see in this picture from 25 July.

25 July veggie garden 2013

Spring 2014

In 2014, our first day in the veggie garden was 12 April.

12 April 2014 first day in veggie gardenKaren worked on the beds, and Ret built a proper gate (instead of just the wire we would pull across).

veggie garden gate 12 april 2014

april 15 2014 first plantingYou 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!

16 april 2014 snow

In addition to working in the veggie garden, we started adding a gravel drive between the barn and the garden.

2014 road between barn and 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.

2014 planting plan veggie

Spring 2015

In 2015, we had April snow that delayed our garden efforts. For example, we woke to this accumulating snow on the 13th.

13 april 2015 snow

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.

25 April clean-up 2015

Finally on May 4th we got to planting (the below picture is from the 5th).

may 5 2015 second day in garden

first day 26 march in veggie garden 2016

Spring 2016

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!

Spring 2017

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! 🙂

9 April 2019 first day in garden

The veggie garden, and the adjacent compost bins and duckhouse, all got a lot of attention in 2017. Peas went in on the 11th, and new raised beds were going in at a fast clip.


The garden got a new garden entrance, and peas started sprouting on the 18th of April!



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!


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