Spring fever is in full swing and it’s time to get the first round of vegetables into the ground. We recently prepped our garden soil for the season with a thick layer of homemade compost. Juniper and I were both very excited to finally be able to move our vegetable starts into the ground.


Juniper rearranging the broccoli starts we were planting

We planted the vegetables we eat most often: spinach, lettuce, arugula, broccoli and swiss chard. Our kale and leeks survived the winter, but the swiss chard was beaten to death from the snow and ice.


My garden helper moving the rainbow swiss chard

We also popped in about fifty Walla Walla sweet onions. The leafy greens need space above ground and the onions need room below. That makes them a good match for companion planting, so they weave in between the crops of “greens” – chard, kale, arugula and lettuces.


Densely planting Walla Walla onions in between broccoli, chard, arugula and lettuces

Juniper loved being my helper and I loved watching her have such a good time. What would childhood be like without learning about growing things or discovering how delicious a lettuce leaf tastes when freshly picked? She’s added a wonderful element of chaos and bliss to our homesteading life.


Red Sails lettuce starts

Next on deck to plant will be crops directly sown outside like potatoes, beets, carrots and celery. The latter plants are best sown in April, but I can plant them now in my raised beds that are covered with hoops of greenhouse plastic. In May, we will transplant all our favorite warm weather crops: tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, beans and squash.


Juniper arranging and rearranging the garden plan.

I’m in no hurry for summertime. I love the spring garden, with it’s bright greens and cool temperatures. Everything seems lush and easy, from the trouble-free tulips to the lush lettuces.

What’s growing on your homestead? Is it still covered in snow, or does your garden show signs of life? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson