Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Time to plant!

Each year we usually grow most of our plants from seed. Beginning in March we assemble the flats, lights and warming mats in the basement, and coax hundreds of tiny herbs and veggies into the light. So by now, in May, I usually feel like we have accomplished something already, even though nothing is in the ground yet. This year G's asthma and all the crazy viruses going around made me decide to skip the growing from seed and just direct sow or buy transplants from a local organic farmer this year (we have a glorious farmers market here). Here in my part of Wisconsin average last frost is still a few days away. So this weekend and next are our big planting and lawn work weekends.

Today we decided to sort through our seeds, see what we have, what we need, and go through catalogs to see what might be fun to look for when shopping for plants. A always gets a chance to plan with me, and decide what else we should grow. He contributes to the varieties and selection - quite the gardener. He was sketching out what he wanted, circling things in catalogs, and making me write down his list of top plants he wants this summer like blue corn, red hot peppers, and unusual melons and squash. Last year we had planted a sunflower house, which was fun, so he wants to do that again.

Last summer we "raised" several caterpillars from our parsley up to Black Swallowtail butterflies which we released back into the garden. We want more butterflies this summer.
So A wants to plant a LOT of butterfly friendly plants like dill, parsley, milkweed, echinachea and other plants that the butterflies like in addition to their caterpillars. Of course we want wasp deterrents too - the sunflowers worked well last year. The 12' high mammoth sunflowers drew the wasps wayyyyy up to the tops to eat, and they left us alone.

Even G got into the action, although anything with a marker and he is happy.

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