The anticipation is killing me. April 15 is our average last date of frost. I can't wait.
If all goes according to plan, we will be swimming in bushels of tomatoes by this July. I've already started the seedlings inside, beneath a grow lamp. We've planted Better Boys (my standby hybrid), and a few heirlooms, including Black Krims, Aunt Ruby's German Greens, Gold Medals, Brandywines, and a whole slew of dwarf tomatoes, including the Sweet Scarlet Dwarfs, which are supposed to taste even better than Black Krims, except they can be grown in a container.
We've also started about a dozen Swiss Chard plants (Fordhook Giant). Have you ever eaten Swiss Chard? It's the sweetest, most tender green; so much better tasting than kale and a lot easier to cook than collards. Unfortunately, I've always found Swiss Chard to be prohibitively expensive at the grocery store, but that's no problem because it grows beautifully in the garden as long as you put up a fence to keep the rabbits and turtles out. They're crazy for the baby greens.
Once we're past risk of frost, we'll transplant all the seedlings outside. Then we'll plant a few other things directly into the ground, like cowpeas (black eyed peas), herbs, leeks, potatoes, a few lettuces, and cucumbers.
Our peas are already in the ground and sprouted (they're cold tolerant so you can plant them before the last frost warning). They'll probably be climbing the trellis by this weekend. We've had the most amazing 70+ degree weather in North Carolina lately and it's really been helping those peas along. Not sure how the heat will affect their taste, but what are you going do.
Pictured above is an artichoke seedling of the Imperial Star variety. Fingers crossed. If I get one artichoke from my garden this year, I'm going to call it a raging success.
Do you garden?