It’s time. The way the weather has been for the past week, we’re pretty sure we won’t get frost anymore this spring. Every year is different. Last winter we had snow in May, so we had to wait to put the garden in. This year it’s been dry, but warm.
Typically in MN, the safe date to put the garden in is Memorial Day weekend. The problem is, we have a short enough growing season that some veggies, like bell peppers and winter squash, may not have enough time to get ripe before the plants succumb to frost at the end of summer. The peppers don’t have a chance to turn red and the winter squash don’t develop the hard rinds needed to keep them good through Christmas.
So, we like to plant as early as soon as we’re certain we won’t get any more frosts. Some veggies are okay with light frosts, but we usually have trouble getting the garden prepped that early. This year, though, we got a three-point* tiller for the tractor. It works so well my hubby tilled the garden over and over just because it was fun!
In case you’re wondering, my garden (see the pic 🙂 ) is about 75′ by 30′. Yeah, I know, it’s HUGE. Every year I tell myself I’m going to do a smaller garden. Ha! The worst part is weeding. We mulch what we can, but that’s a LOT of mulch. After weeks of weeding, watering, and hoping the weather cooperates, the taste of that first ear of corn, or the first cucumber, or the first ripe tomato, makes it worth it.
Well, except when I’m being eaten alive by mosquitoes or it’s hot enough to melt tar.
With a garden, one should plan what veggies go where. By keeping a record, you can make sure you rotate the veggies the next year. By rotating where each vegetable gets planted, you confuse the bad bugs, or at least that’s the theory. My plan this year was set, until my hubby got till-happy. So, back to the drawing paper. Which leads my wandering mind back to writing and planning. Planning a book is kind of like planning a garden. An outline allows you to lay out your scenes (rows of veggies). If you want to shuffle scenes around, it’s easier to do it in the outline than in the manuscript. I use Scrivener, and one of the nice things about it is you can drag scenes around if you like, but if you use something like Word, it’s not as easy, so planning becomes even more important.
Which reminds me. I’ve been working with beat sheets to fine-tune my WIP’s plot. I like the opportunity to really think about each scene. When I do my outline, I don’t get into the scene detail. I don’t think I know the story well enough until I finish the rough draft ala NaNoWriMo. If you’re a planner, how detailed is your outline? Do you outline each scene, or just hit the waypoints of the plot?
I love spring, I love the idea of growing my own vegetables, but I don’t like how my writing time shrinks. I look forward to rainy days so I have an excuse to write more!
*Three-point refers to the mount on a tractor that has three points of attachment to an implement. The top attachment is a pivot, and the lower two are hydraulic cylinders that raise and lower the implement. The whole arrangement is set up like a triangle. You can find more info here: Explanation of a three-point hitch.