We may have been delayed in our spring here in the north, but the growth in the garden is more than making up for it! I’ve never had a beginning to the growing season like this year, and I sure have high hopes that it continues. Every single tomato plant that I’ve put in the ground this year is thriving and looking amazingly well- I’ve never had that happen. I always assume that a handful are not going to like being transplanted. That is not the case this year. In fact, one tomato that I didn’t plant because it was harmed a few weeks ago and was on it’s way out has surprised me this week by sprouting leaves on a pathetic stem. I’m keeping an eye on him and will find ground space in the next week or so if he continues making a comeback.
But lets get to the pictures, shall we?
Here’s an overview of the six beds from the gate. This makes me so happy!! Just over a week ago we had company visiting and they asked what I had in the garden this year. My simple answer was “Food!” Look at all this luscious green stuff just beckoning to be eaten. I have lettuces, spinach and radishes that are ready to eat now- the lettuces in baby stage. In the next few days we will enjoy the first salad from the garden.
Next, I had to get creative in the garden when I realized I forgot to plant some summer squash or zucchini. Last year I tried planting those in my community plot where they were quickly eaten by critters. I’d already filled my beds- and really, I didn’t want to put a large zucchini plant in the beds to take up that valuable real estate. So instead, I put two mounds between two different beds towards the ends. There’s enough room for them to grow, and I can still get around them. Both mounds have sprouts, so I’m very hopeful of a nice harvest this year. I have two different varieties that are supposed to trend toward the bush size. We’ll see how that works out. I put cages around the mounds simply so that no one accidentally steps on the mounds as they’re growing. You can also see some of the many weeds growing between the beds. One of these days I need to do some work there, and next year I’m hoping for a nice layer of mulch. But in the meantime, they’re really not harming anything.
Next, here on the right you can see how the garlic patch has exploded! Our family is very, very excited about this piece of garden. A little later I have a picture of a garlic scape, as they’re starting to peek out. On the left is the first bed I planted. Guess my broccoli, kale, leeks and celery have survived after all! The scallions are slow to grow, but they are making the effort.
This next bed is the bean bed. Five varieties of bush beans are planted, and most of them have come up. There are also four eggplant and three jalapenos close to us. Most of my peppers went to the community plot, but I wanted a few jalapenos here at home for ease at getting them when I just want one for a dish. Something was nibbling on my eggplants when I first planted them, but I’ve been spraying them with a lovely super hot pepper spray and they haven’t been nibbled since.
*Note: When spraying a homemade super hot pepper spray, be sure to stand upwind when spraying plants.
Next I have my wintered-over fatalii enjoying the deck. He needs some TLC, but is doing well.
See? Super hot Fatalii peppers! I also have 3 red versions of this plant in the commuity plot.
Here is my impromtu herb bed. This is in front of our deck, and has been the home to Andy’s grills since we moved in. Last week I took the time to pull out most of the weeds, and since I had these basil plants that needed a home, it seemed like a natural place. Ultimately, I would love to fill in with all kinds of herbs, I just am short on resources to do so now. It also needs some compost worked in, but I am happy with what I have. The ferny-fluffy looking plant is some bouquet dill that had been languising in a pot. I do have more herbs in planters on the deck. I have mint, parsley, pineapple sage and chives growing up there.
Back to the garden. Here is the bed that has my lettuce in it. Three varities of lettuce, some turnips, some carrots that are not doing so hot, and lima beans towards the left. On the very far left are my Blue Hubbard Squash. You can see a hint of the red trellis that leans onto the garage for the squash to climb up. I’m really hopeful that this experiment works out! The turnips are turning out to be a little large to be with the lettuces, but so far everything is doing okay.
Next, two different views of the tomato patch. They ended up spaced together a little closer than I had originally planned, but once I started putting them out, it just kind of happened. 52 plants total here at home. I plan to use the Florida Weave to support them as they grow. I’ll start working on that in the next few weeks. Every plant is looking healthy and happy to be in the ground.
This garden bed is home to my snap peas, swiss chard, beets and some carrots. Oh, and several varieties of cucumber, which are growing by the trellis to the right of the peas. Overall, I’m disappointed with the carrots in my gardens. None of them are really doing great. We’ll get some, but not the abundance I had actually planted. Not sure why that is- I’m thinking I need to sow a little more heavily.
Here is a garlic scape. I am waiting for a few more to poke out and then I am going to clip them and make a garlic scape pesto to toss with homemade pasta. Removing the scape encourages the garlic to concentrate its growing efforts on the bulb under the ground.
This bed below has radishes, spinach, carrots, butternut squash to the far left, and the backside from here is end-to-end cucumbers. Six different varieties in this bed, plus three in the other bed mean nine varieties of slicing cucumbers. We cannot wait to start comparing them all! Yesterday I had to pull out one of my varieties of radish, as they were starting to bolt with no radish growing underground. The French Breakfast radishes are doing great, but for some reason the Cherry Belle’s have found it too warm. I removed them and sowed a small patch of Romaine Lettuce instead. The carrots in this bed are probably the healthiest that I’ve planted, but still not doing crazy well. One of my spinach plants is also starting to flower. I’m completely baffled, because it’s not been hot yet. Unfortunately, I did not write down which variety I planted.
And finally today, I have the tomatillo patch. I have SIX tomatillo plants in the ground- half of them are green and half of them are the purple variety. They were the happiest plants I had ever seen when I planted them in the dirt. Almost instantly they started shooting up and producing more leaves. We recently discovered that Zander loves green salsa, so he’s very excited to see these plants which will produce an abundance of tomatillos for salsa verde this summer.
Soon I’ll get the camera over to the community garden. I still have space over there for planting, but am unsure what I am going to do with it. I have 16 tomato plants there, all my pepppers, about ten cabbage plants, and my pole beans. Onions may be a good choice if I can still find plants somewhere. We’ll see. I’m trying to avoid fencing my whole plot- we’ll see how that works this year. It’s been a huge effort over there to get the weeds removed and get things planted, but it’s a work in progress. I keep eyeing up the plot next to mine and wondering if I could keep up with two plots should the opportunity come up.