Memorial Day weekend is always the time that Ben and I do the vast majority of the planting in our vegetable gardens.  We don’t make other plans, and pretty much for the whole three days we focus on not much else but getting it done.  The way it usually works around here is that Ben does the majority of the rototilling and initial soil-working, while I do most of the planning and planting (which means Ben also has his eyes on the boys for most of the weekend, so that I can get the planting done). Thankfully, Ben is more than happy to let me do all the obsessing about what soil amendments we’re going to need, what we’re going to grow, where best to plant it, and whether our garden beds are square or crooked (Yes, I admit to being a bit compulsive about neatness and orderliness in the garden…..).

Anyway, part of the reason that we don’t end up planting prior to Memorial days is that we don’t tend to plant crops–like peas—that need to get in the ground earlier.  Also, we’re in Maine….while we sometimes get really warm temperatures earlier in the month, I think the weather is just too unpredictable.  I’ve had bean seeds rot in the ground more than once because of cold, wet weather.  We’ve had a little over a week of really warm, seasonal weather now, but (as those of us here in Maine remember all too well) it was around 50 degrees and raining  for the two weeks or so before that!   Not exactly good gardening weather.  Aside from that, I have to admit that we just don’t usually have our act together before Memorial day.  By the time we get the yearly dose of compost or manure into the garden and turn it over, and get our seeds in the mail, the big weekend seems to be upon us.

As I’m writing I’m realizing that there is a fourth reason, that’s come about over the past few years without me really noticing it, why we plant pretty much everything all in one weekend…..and perhaps it’s the most important reason, for me personally anyway.   With Connor and Ian by my side the vast majority of the time these days, so many of the things I have to accomplish on a daily basis I have to do in little bits here and there, as their needs allow.  Everything takes a long time, and progress is often hard to see.  What a rare treat it is to have a good chunk of time dedicated to pretty much only one task–one that I care a lot about–and to have the ability and time (thankyou, Ben!) to really focus on it intensely and to just get it done.   I really try these days to be OK with slow, scattered progress and constant multi-tasking, and to remember that it’s just how it is with little ones (or, at least it is for me), and on my good days I really embrace and enjoy the slower pace. Yet, it’s still hard sometimes….and there’s no question that a good dose of feeling really productive and focused now and then (or whenever I can get it!) does wonders for my spirit.

With all this on my mind, I realize I haven’t even gotten to the practical stuff of the weekend, like what we actually planted.  This post is long enough already, so I’ll write about all that next time.  Enjoy your day!

Garden just planted, may 2011