May 15, 2013

Garden: Planted!

The raised bed garden and my pots are finally planted. It's never pretty in the beginning, but that's okay. We waited an extra week due to the chilly late spring, but apparently we didn’t wait long enough - there was a frost warning on Monday night! So we had to cover up the more delicate things in the raised garden beds and bring all the pots under the deck.

In the corner by the gate we have the flower bed. After 2 years, my dahlia bulb count has shriveled from 12 to 2. So they both get plenty of room now. I’ll probably buy a few more next year. I planted several rows of 3 different kinds of zinnias and then a mix of snapdragons from seed and a 4 pack of snapdragons from the nursery that were an impulse buy. (I really shouldn’t have but I was having a weak moment!)

On the same side we have the pea/bean/lettuce/herb/etc. bed. On the tower you can see the pea vines growing steadily on half, on the other side I planted bean seeds to start growing. There are two rows of swiss chard growing steadily, and next to that I tried again on my lettuce that didn’t take earlier this year and carrot seeds. I transplanted oregano, thyme and the rosemary from last year’s bed (since we practice crop rotation). I purchased basil from the nursery because I have trouble growing it from seed. This year I’m trying something new - garlic! I received a few spring-starter garlic bulbs (normally you plant them in the fall), we’ll see how it goes.

The tomato bed is very different this year. Firstly, unlike last year where we crammed a ton of varieties into the space, this year there are only 7 tomato plants. Secondly, all of these plants are from the nursery, not seed. Tragedy struck my little tomato seedlings. I don’t want to get into it (it’s too soon!) or place blame, but let’s just say it was from poor planning and poor location choice on my part not to foresee what can happen when living with a new little person. The silver lining to this however is that our favorite local nursery now has several of my favorite heirlooms. So we have a sweet 100s cherry, a yellow pear, a lemon boy, a purple cherokee, an early girl and a rutgers tomato that’s a NJ-heirloom I thought would be fun to try. The marigolds are also from the nursery (as usual).

I took pictures of the vines bed before I put the trellises in, but you can still get the idea. I planted 4 cucumbers from seed (the only thing that survived) and then 3 more sets of direct-sow cucumber seeds. All the cucumbers will be trained up a trellis. The middle of the bed is yellow summer squash and zucchini seeds, and on the other side are musk melon seeds that will be trained up a trellis again like last year.

In the patio pots we have a cayenne pepper, a jalapeno pepper and a poblano pepper growing from the nursery. They did well last year so I'm hoping it goes well again this year. We also did a few flowers in some pots and in beds by the house. Along the fence in the new garden area next to the blackberry I put in a sunset dahlia. And in the garden bed between the patio and driveway I planted portulaca which is supposed to be excellent ground cover in hot, sunny, dry spaces like this.

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