PATSY R. BRUMFIELD: Oh, joy, it’s ‘grow time’ again

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

When spring’s sprung, seems we also forget how annoyed Mother Nature seems to be about changing into her white shoes and sandals.
We’re really taken a battering lately, haven’t we?
In the past two months, my Elvis whirligig may have danced the equivalent of an trans-global trek. He appears to still enjoy the hip-shaking that the blustery winds cause.
A little WD-40 will keep him in good shape. I’d like to say the same for myself, but I’ve managed to shake off some of winter’s rust out in the garden.
Actually, well-timed good weather has allowed me to do that. Everything’s in the ground and making progress.
Most exciting, besides finding my cell phone out there after two days AWOL, are my sugar peas. They’ve gotten busy blooming and making those cute little pods that taste so yummy in a salad or stir-fry, or can be shelled for the peas if you leave them on the climbing stalk.
But, I don’t feel bad about harvesting them early because I know they will go completely ca-put as soon as we have consistently hot days. That can’t be far off.
I’m having fun watching everything grow and occasionally spraying to keep away the pests.
My five garden squares are full of seedlings – zucchini, cucumbers green and white, watermelon, cantaloupes, butternut squash. Up the hill are the blackberries, yellow squash, eggplants, hops, bush cucumbers and corn.
I’ve also got various tomatoes and peppers, as well as herbs, lettuce, carrots, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus and fennel. Don’t ask me what I’m going to do with that fennel – I just felt a challenge was necessary.
Frankly, I think fennel is some kind of Northern invention. As old as I am, I’ve never seen anybody south of Baltimore use it. Have you? I think it’s a TV-cook thing, kind of like showing off.
I’m also excited about the budding hydrangeas and other pretty stuff in the yard, where I’ve toiled lo these four years at my little house.
I think my dad, who loved to garden, smiles down on it all, although he probably wonders where the greens and potatoes are.
So, you see, if you want a garden, you really don’t need a lot of space. You just need good sunshine, at least 8 hours a day, and the necessary quantity of water.
We have such a long growing season – some say two seasons – that you still have time to make a garden, if you haven’t started yet. You also can be successful if you grow some things in large pots, although many plants like tomatoes need a home in at least a 5-gallon bucket.
So, check in with our Master Gardeners at the Extension Service, if you want advice. If you have a much livelier social life than I do, you may just opt for the Farmer’s Market.
But at least we all know the season of Yummy is out there, again.

Patsy R. Brumfield can be reached at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com.