May 13, 2015

The Garden is Planted!

Mother Nature delayed our garden planting. Two weeks ago it was so cold we had to wear our winter coats and the lows dipped into the 20s. I didn't want to plant the garden until that was totally behind us, so it wasn't until this week that we finished planting. Mid-May feels really late, but spring was really late this year!

Our schedules have been ridiculously busy lately, so we had to do the work in pieces. Normally I like to spend a day getting it all done at once, but it wasn't in the cards this year. On the first day, we pulled the plastic off and turned all the dirt in the beds and raked it so everything was soft and loose and mixed in some compost. I transplanted the herbs that had overwintered from one bed to the next. Mike found the hoses in the garage and we buried those in the beds, then put the plastic back on top. Each garden bed was planted one at a time as we had a chance to do it... I'm so relieved it's finally done.

Back in February I wrote out the garden plan and we've stuck to it. Every year we rotate  the four beds around to help remediate the soil and naturally prevent pests. This is the first year everything will be back in the original bed since we started the garden - I can't believe we've been doing this for so many years now!

In Bed 1 we have the vines. Cucumbers on the big trellis, melons on the smaller trellis, squash and zucchini in between. A couple years ago we had problems with squash vine borers, so last year I skipped the squash and zucchini hoping to break the cycle. We'll see how they do this year. The cucumbers, zucchini and squash are from seeds, the melons I started from seeds with the tomatoes to give them a head start (an experiment).

In Bed 2 are the flowers. This year I bought new dahlia bulbs and put 6 of them in here, along with seeds for lots of zinnias, a few snapdragons and one sunflower (because last year the giant sunflower was really fun). It doesn't look like much now, but the flower cutting bed is always gorgeous once it gets going.

In Bed 3  we have the beans, peas, herbs, lettuce and carrots bed. Earlier in April I planted peas and lettuce, the peas on half of the trellis and the lettuce on the far end. Winter was so late this year, the pea vines and lettuces are still tiny - with the wacky weather I'm not sure how well they will do since we've already had a week of summer temperatures. On the other side of the bean pole, I planted green bean seeds. The thyme and oregano were transplanted from bed 2 and the basil is from the nursery. I also did a row of carrots between the herbs and the lettuce.

In Bed 4 there are the tomatoes. I planted 12 from seed back in March with 8 marigolds (which prevent aphids). There's a chadwick cherry, 2 yellow pears, an italian paste, a marinzano roma, bloody butcher, zapotec, green zebra, arkansas traveler, purple cherokee, brandywine and a big boy.

In the pots we have the lemon and lime trees as usual, which sit on the deck. Then on the patio are the peppers, though this year we simplified and cut back on these. Instead of trying to do a lot of peppers I decided we should do just our favorite - a jalapeƱo, purchased from the nursery. If I have any time I'd like to do a couple of flower pots instead this year on the patio for some bright color.

Last but not least, all of the dahlia bulbs from last year were planted along the fence between the fence and the driveway by the blackberry bush (see the yard layout here with our 2015 plans), plus a couple others in a few extra bare spots around the garden beds. It's not pretty right now, since everything is underground, but I think it will be lovely in a month.

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