Garden beginnings in Illinois

Our vegetable garden is very delayed this year–and still mostly to be determined–thanks to Ellie. So I’m living vicariously through other people’s gardens. Sarah has made it through the early uncooperative weather that delayed her garden start. Planting has officially happened in Illinois and she’s sharing the details today.

If you read my last post, I mentioned that we finally made our way out of winter. Which means we had to jump quickly into planting the garden. We were about 4 weeks behind our normal planting time. As an example, we usually try to plant potatoes on Good Friday (this year March 30) and we were not able to get them into the ground until April 29.

Another problem that we are facing is that we seem to have jumped directly from winter to summer. We went from cold days and many nights of frost to 85F (29C) every day.

This is hardest on some of the colder weather crops like lettuce, kale, radish and possibly carrots. I went ahead and planted them but, they aren’t looking very hopeful.

Here are some of the other vegetables that we planted:



Bell peppers, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, tomatillos, zucchini, pepperoncini peppers and

And even though they got such a late start, I think the potatoes are going to make it.

Another issue we are having is that it has been very dry. So every day after work I fill two 5 gallon buckets twice and carry them out to the garden and water each individual plant.

There has been some discussion between Steve and I on running a water line out there. If that happens, I will be sure to document it!

Have you started planting anything where you live? Are you having any struggles with your vegetables? Temperatures? Rainfall? Do you get a workout by hauling water to your garden?

That’s a lot of water lugging, Sarah! I definitely vote for a water line, but in our experience running the line is probably as much work as hauling water all season. Perhaps rent a small backhoe if you decide to put one in. We transplanted a tree this weekend, so we’ve been hauling buckets, as there’s no way a hose will reach the spot I chose. That seems to be the extent of our gardening so far, so I will continue to enjoy your updates. Good job with all of your planting!

6 thoughts on “Garden beginnings in Illinois

  1. What a strange spring, hey? I’m impressed by how weed-free your garden is. Here’s hoping the plants will get big and bushy and produce lots of veggies and fruits!
    We still haven’t planted ours as it’s taking a long time after rototilling to turn each row over and go through each clod by hand, taking out all the weeds, grass and roots. But we’re getting there! It’s about half done. Since we’re looking at it as a multi-year project, we’re not too worried if it’s not as productive as it possibly could be this year. It’s all part of the plan. 🙂

    • Well, thank you very much. Our garden does get out of hand at times, but I work hard to keep the weeds down.

      As long as you are making progress, that is all that matters. It will be worth it!

  2. Here in central Indiana, we’ve had rain when we needed it and the crops are looking great. The potager’s veggies are looking terrific. When I built the potager, I bit the bullet and had a water line run to the greenhouse and it was a good decision. I’m getting too old to haul 5 gallon buckets! Hope you get some rain!

    • Thank you! We are in East Central Illinois. But it is strange how the storms will come through and hit some areas and completely skip over others. Thankfully, we have had a few nice rains since I posted this.

  3. Here in Ontario, I just planted green peppers minutes ago, and am about to plant potatoes. The peas are up, the onions struggling and the carrots, well, I’m going to have to re-seed them. I’m a month behind as well, and we had snow on April 28th. My tomato plants are nowhere near ready to transplant yet – hopefully another week or so and they’ll be big enough.

    • It’s been a frustrating year, that’s for sure. My radishes have finally broken through but I am going to have to replant carrots as well. Carrots seem to be finicky for me, do you have that trouble?

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