"Opening Day. All you have to do is say the words and you can feel the shutters thrown wide, the room air out, the light pour in." This is a quote by columnist Mary Schmich where she is talking about baseball (Yawn....wake me up in October), but it applies just the same to gardening. There is no feeling like finally being able to get your hands dirty again after so many months of day dreaming and planning for this day. You might be excited to try something new or eager to prove that you learned your lesson last year and that this is the year you finally do things the right way. No matter what you're doing, it's just great to be doing something...anything outside again.
So what did we do? First step was to pop open the compost bin and see what we had to work with (Check out our photo gallery to see that process for yourself). We were able to get more than enough compost for a spring planting and the rest will be sitting until late May.
We planted an 11' row of Organic Oregon Giant Snow Peas. We have planted these in the past and had good success with them. The pods are huge as the name would suggest however the vines only grow 3-4' high, so these are a great option if you want to plant peas but don't have a huge trellis or fence for them to grow on. For full details on how to plant peas in your own garden, click here.
We also planted a row of Organic Windsor Fava Beans right in front of the peas. It was a wide bed and since the peas grow tight to the fence and straight up we wanted to maximize space by planting a row of something else along with them. Since fava beans were ready to plant at the same time we thought that would be a good companion for them. We have never tried these before so why Fava beans? For one, you can plant them ASAP. The other reason is their protein content, especially important for those of us who have switched over to a plant based diet. 1 cup of fava beans has 10g of protein, about as much as you would get from 2 eggs. They are also high in iron and fiber. If you're familiar with lima beans they are very similar, however lima beans are not cold tolerant so for us northern gardeners fava beans are the way to go. Find instructions for planting your own fava beans right here.
We had bigger plans in mind but parts of the beds we wanted to plant our greens in were still frozen. As always the garden is a great metaphor for life. Sometimes things don't work out exactly as you had planned but you just roll with it and do what you can. Still feeling like we accomplished a lot and very happy to say the 2019 garden is officially underway! Stay tuned for more updates as we go along.