Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's Planting Time

There are so many markers of the right time to plant in the Midwest. Some people mark the calendar to plant on Mother's Day or Memorial Day. Others measure the soil temperature to know when the optimal time will be.

I like to pay attention to my flowering plants. Because they respond to the moisture level, sunlight, and air temperature, I find them to be excellent indicators of the right time to plant.

This is where the garden is right now:

The peas, spinach, carrots, lettuce, and radishes I planted from seed in April are proceeding nicely. The peas are about 18 inches tall, and the lettuce is about a week away from harvest. The radishes are small, but we're checking weekly to prepare for harvesting them.

Blooming perennials abound in shades of purple. Until this week, I hadn't realized how many there were. In full bloom now are allium, meadow sage, dame's rocket, bluebells, Virginia bluebells, pansies, and violets. We also have plentiful blossoms on our red columbine and strawberry plants.

Ready, but not quite blooming are garden sage and clematis. I imagine they'll start within the week.

The weather has been dry for a few days, but we're expecting rain tomorrow. So, today is the day for planting my most tender (and prized) vegetables -- my tomatoes. I started them in seedling trays in early April, and they have several sets of leaves. I'll also plant my zinnia seedlings, basil, and pepper plants. Once they're in the ground, they are sure to take off.

I can't wait to get out in the sunshine and get digging. If I'm in the mood, I just might have the kids help me, too. Which reminds me -- today I've written a feature for Midwest Parents, Gardening with Kids: An Easy Guide. If you're getting ready to plant and want to find ways to involve your kids in the family garden, head on over for some great tips! (And please comment! I'm sure it will warm the hearts of the Midwest Parents crew to hear from you!)

Until tomorrow, hope you enjoy your garden. I know I will!

- Midwest Mom


  1. Lovely garden - you are way ahead of me!

  2. 'Tis planting time indeed! Love this time of year:)

  3. Love it :) everything looks so nice! Our garden is doing good really I just haven't gotten around to posting pictures yet :) promise after the weekend.

    Sorry I've been MIA just busy 2-3 weeks ugh...don't ask LOL will be over more often :)

  4. Oh almost forgot, hope you had a good Mother's Day!

  5. Look how gorgeous! Everything looks just beautiful! You are a gardening inspiration!


  6. Looks beautiful! Which one is the top flower there? Whatever it is I think it might be my new favorite.

  7. Laurie,

    The top flower is allium. It grows 18-24 inches tall and has a beautiful, sweet aroma. When it blooms along our front sidewalk, it's like having a garden full of lollipops. :D

    - Julia


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