Well, I'm sure saying that the hard part is over is not exactly accurate, but I'd like to think that no amount of weeding compares to the work we did this weekend! The groundhog fence is installed, the raised beds are built and the mountain of dirt in my driveway has been whittled down to a small pile. The to do list is down to hardening off my seedlings, laying newspaper and straw in the paths, starting some flower seedling to climb the fence (which looks a bit harsh) and then planting everything.
I did start a lot of things indoors that are traditionally direct seeded in the ground, but I thought it was worth trying to see if I can extend the growing season a bit. I am still going to be seeding beets, cabbage, peas, scallions, dill, leeks, lettuce, spinach and carrots into the beds alongside my somewhat spindly seedlings. A planting schedule is in order to avoid overloads at harvest time and to optimize my space...better add that to the to do list. Cover crops are another topic that I keep coming across and I need to figure out how they work into my plan as well, since they provide so much soil benefit and erosion protection.
My exciting tidbit this week was learning how to create reservoirs in your garden so that if you are away for a couple days you don't need to have someone come to water. At planting time you dig in plastic jugs with several small holes poked in them, leaving an opening at ground level. Just fill as needed and the water will seep out slowly. I'll be sure to report on how this actually works later in the summer.