May 14, 2012

2012 Garden (Mostly) Planted

We planted (90% of) the garden this weekend! This year we directly sowed more seeds into the raised beds with confidence after last year’s successes. Of course the seeds leave little to show right now, but soon the whole garden will once again be full of green. Last year I mentioned in my 2011 garden plan that every year we would rotate the crops in each bed. This helps naturally prevent pests and allows the soil to recover from particularly needy plants. So this year all of the vegetable beds are shifting over one. The black plastic worked great last year to warm the soil, act as a weed blocker, and direct rain to the plants. Under black plastic is the series of buried soaker hoses we also used last year.

I planted the tomato seedlings that I started back at the beginning of March. This year the nightshade bed is only tomatoes. The pepper seedlings will be planted in pots instead. The poblano peppers and bell peppers are still a little too small to go outside - they need more time and warmer weather. The peppers are all from seed except the jalapeno, which will be from the local nursery.

This year the plant list in this bed has been narrowed down. We’re skipping the watermelons (those were very unsuccessful) and the ground cherry plant I stuck in here (we didn’t like the taste enough and it attracted raccoons). To make even more room for the zucchini and squash that was spilling out everywhere last year, we’re not only going to trellis the cucumbers, but also the musk melons at the other end on the green trellis.

Beans, Carrots, Lettuce, Herbs
We had more beans last year than we could eat or give away. So this year we decided to skip the bush beans and only opt for the pole beans that grow up the tower. This frees up room for more carrots and lettuce, as well as radishes which are new this year. All of these are from seed so there’s little to show right now.

We’re also cutting back to only 4 herbs - the marjoram died too quickly and I didn’t use enough sage to make it worthwhile. We love cilantro but it doesn’t like heat. We are going to buy rosemary, thyme and basil from the local nursery (I have a hard time growing herbs from seed), and the oregano is a transplant from the other bed. It survived the mild winter and came back, so I transferred it from one bed to the other. It looks a little sad right now from the move but it should perk back up in a few days.

This year the only change we’re making to this bed is to add proper support for the flowers. Last year was my first time with dinner plate dahlias and I didn’t realize they needed to be staked. Even the zinnias and snapdragons were endlessly falling over. I put the supports in the ground when I planted the bulbs to avoid accidentally stabbing and damaging the bulbs later. The zinnias and snapdragons are from seed.

No comments:

Post a Comment