Tag Archives: planting


[the LORD] will fill your barns with grain,

and your vats will overflow with good wine.

Proverbs 3.9-10

I haven’t gone out to harvest today’s garden goodies yet.  But this is already in my “tomato bowl” this morning.  The bowl is 18″ diameter, 6″ deep.  And full – 4 types of tomatoes.

harvest tomatoes

For a few months, gardening has been tending to, working, weeding, watering, feeding, watching over with hope and expectancy.

Then suddenly…

He who cultivates his land will have plenty of bread…

Proverbs 28.19a

I can hardly get used to this heavy-with-harvest time.  I go out to work a little, water a bit and come in with so much reward, my arms and shirt filled with garden goodies of all kinds – enough to enjoy and share!  And I am still overwhelmed by these daily benefits (loaded with them!), astonished with joy over finding new mercies among the leaves, sort of amazed and giggling at the miracle of it: Look what God has done!  I apologize in advance – I cannot help myself.  I throw a load on the counter and whip out the iPhone. *snap!

harvest chiles

Dave caught me scrolling through my phone’s camera roll and smiling.  Because this is the time I was waiting for {{nearly breathless, quietly~quietly hoping}}, and am yet so happily dazzled over: harvest time!  I knew down deep it was coming {hoped-against-hope it would}, but I have still been captured by surprise!

And I will restore for you the years that the locust has eaten—the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust…

And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord, your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you. And My people shall never be put to shame.

Joel 2.25-26

harvest peppers

It takes all my strength not to plaster all 37 images I have taken of my veggies in the last week right here on this blog.  Yesterday, as I was juggling red, juicy tomatoes and heavy, dark green cucumbers with assorted peppers and just-right zucchini with straightneck squash to bring them into the house, it was perhaps the third load, as the sun was shining on me and the purple petunias were cheering me on in their perfumed and wavy way, I heard a voice (in my spirit, not literally)  narrating my story from heaven ~

“The seeds were buried in hot,  black soil on a spring day by faith.  Waiting, not always patiently, but certainly with expectancy…waiting…Then one day, the harvest became so plentiful she could barely keep up ~ armfuls of plenty, abundance filling every nook, every cranny.  The time of abundance had come.  At last”

Yes, I know I am a little over-the-top about gardening, but don’t you also find it incredibly stunning that God allows us to join Him in creating a profusion of life-giving food?  Don’t you think it is an honor to get to tend to these miraculous growing things and then He just gives them to us?!  I am a humbled recipient of the summer yield, a wealth of delicious, seed-bearing, life-giving, nutritious, lovely sustenance for my body and soul – this from a seed I watched die in the soil.  Supernatural provision, people!

I am intoxicated with gratefulness for the Creator.  I am.

Do not be deceived…A man reaps what he sows…Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6.7-9 NIV

Growth Chart

In my part of the Rocky Mountain Region, the “final frost date” is approximately May 10, give or take a few days.  That is an important date to know because it is sort of a gardening ground zero – the date around which all your garden grows!


Find your Final Frost Date!

Here is one link to help you find it.  Knowing your area’s final frost date pretty much works for anyone anywhere as far as when to plant what.  So, I am going to use the abbreviation FFD to indicate that is what I am talking about when I tell you my own personal plan of spring garden-action below. 

Now everyone from my sister Tami in Corbin, KY to my sister-in-law in Aberdeen, SD, my mom in Springfield, Mo and even my fam in Butte, MT or Hobart, IN can use these numbers!

Seeds to sow indoors NOW! which can be planted outdoors after the FFD:

cucumbers, squash, zucchini, parsely*, cilantro, peppers*, tomatoes*, annual flowers (petunia, marigold, zinnia, etc), onion seeds (or wait and buy the seedlings) 

Seeds it is OK to plant outside now because you can plant them a month or more before the FFD

carrots, radishes, peas (snow peas, old-fashioned garden peas or my FAV-sugar snap peas), swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, mesclun mix, onion sets

FFD – Don’t rush it

After Mother’s Day, weather-permitting, you can start plopping established plants in everywhere.  I do have some sweet banana peppers growing on the windowsill, but most of my peppers and all of my tomatoes will come from pre-established seedlings I pick up at the nursery and they will not be planted until mid-May or after if I fear the night temps will drop below 55-degrees or so.  I can find a great variety out here in “farmland country” at locally owned farm stands.  So, planting seeds for these is not my deal.  I will have squash and zuch ready to go at that time. 

I only have 3 4 ft. x 4 ft. garden boxes for my veggie garden, although I also tuck stuff in here and there around the rest of the yard and use containers, too.  So buying a parsely plant or two makes way more sense than buying a whole package of seeds and feeling compelled to plant every single one and then not having anywhere to place the plants in the garden, anyway.

Make yourself a List!

After the FFD, I will plant both seeds and seedlings.

Pre-established seedlings: started by me or purchased

Tomatoes (I’ll buy)
Peppers (I am already growing some, others I will buy)
Cucumbers (I may seed indoors-or just directly outdoors…don’t know yet)
Zucchini  (I have some started, will sow more outdoors)
Squash (same as zucchini)
Cool stuff I find at the nursery like herbs or lemon cukes, etc
PLUS-fill those pots with flowers! (annuals will provide the most continous color-punch for the immediate  buck, but perennials are an investment that will serve you year after year)


Seeds: Straight into the soil

Beans (grown them vertically for space-saving)
More lettuce, More spinach, More radish (these are all cool-weather, so it would be the last planting of them, though currently, you could plant a few more weekly for varied-date harvesting)
More zucchini and squash for subsequent harvests
Giant sunflowers for the grandkids, pumpkins and gourds (I plant the stuff that thrills the grandkids – big things, colorful things – for fun!)

It is important to note that where my radishes and lettuce and other cool-weather plants are right now, by July will have been replaced by warm-weather plants like tomatoes and peppers and zucchini.  The same garden will be totally different – filled with flowers and herbs and other heat-lovers.  I don’t have much space, so I use succession planting and timing to get the most out of it!

Bonus tip:

If you want to garden, but are afraid, start with a “salsa garden.”  Go ahead and plant your oinion sets now (they are sold in bags or bunches in the garden section and look like mini dried onions.  Then, plant your peppers and tomatoes after the FFD.  Add some cilantro seedlings then, too and you’ll be off to the races for some late August salsa you’ll actually dream about!

OK-so this post was all over the map.  There are many other things you could be planting, but these are my must-haves.  I am also going to try to do potatoes this year for the first time.  They should already be out there!  Yikes!  The thing is-I can look at that list and know, OK-this week I can do this.  Next week I can do that.  And it isn’t all one, big, heavy to-do list.  Here a little, there a little…

Go sit in the Garden…

Mission: (Are you sitting in the garden?  No?  Then go there before you even attempt this!)  So, today – make a list of veggies you want and decide which you’ll do from seed and which you’ll do from seedlings.  If you just go stand in front of the seed display, I promise you, you will buy tooooooooo many seeds and either waste them or never plant them.  Go eeeeeeeeasy on yourself!  Then [1] go ahead and plant seedlings and seeds that can go out now  [2] plant some seeds in cups indoors if you are going to – a thrill for the kiddos  and [3] let the rest slip from your mind until it is time.

Going to the garden…Jeanie

pictured: one evening last summer ~ the last of the lettuce and spinach and radishes (which were mostly gone) and where the large pepper plants were about to get sunk.

“The LORD God planted a garden…”

Genesis 2.8 NKJV  “The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden and there He put the man whom He had formed.”


And if we are smart – we will make every effort to get back to the garden with Him!

Gardening can seem overwhelming, but it isn’t if you take it step-by-step, here a little, there a little, line upon line, precept upon precept…

First things first.

If you believe you are sorely behind to be able to garden this year – you’re NOT!   Spend 5-15 minutes each day this week cleaning up debris from the fall and winter.  Clear out dead leaves, sweep patios and empty all of last year’s potting soil into a large trash can.  It can be re-used, of course, but we’ll add some good stuff to it and re-freshen it for this year.  Hose down the pots and line them up.

Does that seem overwhelming?  Then just tell yourself: I’ll clean up a 3-foot x 3-foot area.  that’s all.  I am betting you’ll like it so  much you’ll want to keep on, but if not, stop there.  Little by little, it can be done.

Do you know what you’ll see?  Green everywhere.  Perennials will have been emerging that will suddenly “show up!”  You will have a fresh clean palette in which to work.

hunter-spring-07 hunter-summer-07-3 hunter-summer-07-2 037 late-august-08-003-copy

Start indoors.

It is safe to go ahead and start some things indoors now (because our final frost date of May 10 is approaching quickly).  Any annual flower or vegetable seeds, really – have at it!  If you have a super-sunny windowsill or a grow light, you’ll have nicely established seedlings in mid-May, right when you want them for outdoor planting.

Sow outdoors.

There are actually things you can be planting directly outdoors already.  My broccoli has been in the ground (from seedlings) for a couple of weeks and last week’s weather didn’t phase them a bit.  I put out onion sets yesterday and they could have been in earlier.  Right now it is safe to plant radishes and carrots, sugar snap peas and spinach and chard and lettuces.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you my current garden “plan of attack.”  I am like everybody else: busy.  So, it has to get tucked in here and there, but it will be so worth it when you see that you have buried a seed and caused new life to explode – first in the garden, later (if you do veggies) into your body!

C’mon – give it a try!…Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Give up on the fingernails…for now.

pictured:  Hunter in the garden 2007 and 2008