We had one nice 80 degree day and I got the bug to do a little planting, very little planting as you will see. I knew I had to be realistic because it’s a possibility we could still have frost around here, we’re at risk until the beginning of June. So keeping that in mind I grabbed 4 Cherry Tomato plants and a few marigolds at our local hardware. Right outside my kitchen door I have two whiskey barrels on each side of the deck that I normally fill with annual flowers. This year I decided to be practical and put the containers to use for part of our summer food supply. Since my herb garden is located just steps from the planters I thought cherry tomatoes would work best, I could grab a handful and pop them into my mouth every time I went by.
There was already dirt in the planters so all I had to do was give it a good raking to turn the soil over before plating, and later in the season I will splash on a little fish emulsion for fertilizer. That stuff really stinks but it sure does the job. While at the hardware I thought to myself I can still have pretty flowers in the planter as well as tomato plants so I chose a companion flower to the tomato and we all know what that is…Marigolds. There certainly not my favorite flower but they will help keep the bugs off that plants, and give the barrel a little color while I wait for the tomato plant to mature.
I told myself this was all the planting I could do until the last week of may, I sure hate to go to all that work only for the frost to get it all. With the barrels being right outside my door I can cover them at night if need be with a sheet. I know so many of you are already gardening and seeing fruit and veggies but here in Michigan planting times not until late May or early June. I decided to mix veggies into my flower gardens this year. I don’t think it will look as pretty but I am attempting to do whatever I have to keep the deer from eating everything. I have tried several methods over the last 5 years and the only thing that works for me is plating it close to the house. I don’t want the expense of fencing it in, and around here the deer just jump the fence anyway.
So by mixing veggies with flowers I hope to get the best of both worlds. I can still enjoy all the pretty blooms as well as partake in all the fresh veggies. I can’t wait to get a few more things in the ground as soon as we are free from the frosty nights. Does anyone else mix veggies and flowers all in the same bed, if so tell me how it works for you?