Ready, Set, Plants!
Let’s talk about gardens on Kent Island, shall we? My grandmother always told me not to plant until after Mother’s Day so, here we are…. ready to plant! Now the big question is WHAT TO PLANT. I could spend hours strolling around the local nurseries without making a decision. Keeping track of what grows best where – here in Maryland, in the sun, the shade, in the spring or the fall, for privacy or bug repellent – is a full-time job, which is why I went to chat with Christy Little over at a Little Farm & Nursery in Stevensville. She knows what’s up! In her words, “digging in soil is good for the soul!”
One of the many lessons we learned from Covid is how a food shortage can affect us. As our grocery store shelves were bare, we turned to our local farmers and even became them ourselves. Personally, I was trying to re-grow romaine lettuce. It worked, but not fast enough to regularly feed our family. So, here we are a year later and ready to give it another go.
Kent Island Garden Summer Crops
We are approaching summer, so I asked Christy to share about what we should be planting in our Kent Island gardens now. She was encouraging even to my black thumb telling me that we don’t need a huge field to grow vegetables, that many have success with container gardens or even a 5-gallon bucket! The trick is good soil which is a mixture of topsoil and compost. Here on the shore, our soil is good for growing tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. Berry bushes also love the full summer Maryland sun. We have a blackberry bush in our yard that I planted for our 4th Anniversary (fruit). In 4 years, with very minimal care, it has grown from a small bucket size to now sprawling about 6’ of fence line and producing quite the summer bounty of berries.
Plants & Flowers
Now onto plants and flowers! There are perennials (grow back year after year) and annuals (good for one season). While you may spend more on the perennials, they tend to be a better bang for your buck over the years. Some of my favorite perennials for Spring & Summer in our garden are Irises and Hostas – they both bring lush greenery and pops of color.
Kent Island Gardens Fall Crops
So, what’s popping for Fall? I’m glad you asked! Fall is the time for greens here in Maryland. We are talking broccoli, cabbage, kale, and even some spinach! This year, I am really excited to give broccoli a try. I had some fresh local broccoli last fall and it was DELISH! Black-eyed Susan is the Maryland State flower, did you know that? And, it is another great perennial that will start to pop in July and will often flower until the first frost.
As a Realtor, I get asked all the time about which plants are good to help with standing water and to repel bugs. The weeping willow, river birch, and swamp oaks are great trees to help with water if you have the space. Planting herbs like lemongrass, rosemary, and lavender which are all hardy will help with the bugs in a natural way.
Need more help with your garden or have questions about plants? Feel free to stop in at Little Farm & Nursery. Christy and her staff are always so helpful. There are a few upcoming workshops, so be on the lookout on their social media. They also have a local produce stand open 7 days a week during the summer and are planning a pumpkin patch for the fall!
If you are interested in your kids getting in on the action, Taste Buds Kitchen in Chester is hosting a 5 day Plant to Plate camp next month – go check it out https://tastebudskitchen.com/chester/upcoming/
And, don’t forget to tell them you saw their business on ILoveKentIsland.com