This year we are doing a low maintenance version of the raised bed garden. Mike is going to do the heavy lifting to get the beds prepped (adding compost, turning the soil, setting up the hoses, etc.) and I’ll just sort of supervise from a chair (preferably with a glass of lemonade). We thought about skipping the garden entirely this year, but that thought made me really sad - we love the summer produce and it’s a good excuse for me to get outside a little bit every day that I’m home. We decided a “light” version of the garden this year, something that will still provide us with our favorite things but is less maintenance.
Normally we plant about 12 tomatoes, including several varieties of beautiful heirlooms. This year we are going to start 8 from seed, and only the easiest to grow varieties. We’ll be doing 2 yellow pears and 2 cherry tomato plants because they are always so prolific and easy. The other half of the tomatoes are roma plum, super beefsteak, bushsteak hybrid, and early girl.
Last year we planted cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini and musk melons. We love homegrown cucumbers too much to give them up, but the melons, squash and zucchini are too high maintenance (bugs, mildew, etc.) so we’re skipping these. This year we’re going to try something totally out there in the rest of the bed - mini pumpkins! We’ve seen several friends unintentionally grow them from old Halloween pumpkins, so we’re hoping they are easy and would be something fun to try.
For the flowers we are going to keep things easy - zinnia seed tape and a couple of dahlias (I’m worried if we don’t plant the bulbs they won’t survive until next year). Zinnias always grow so well back here so these will be easy and beautiful.
We’re planning on moving the oregano and thyme over into the new bed and adding basil. I think we will also plant a row or two of carrots from carrot seed tape just for fun too (Oliver loves growing carrots). We might do lettuce in the spring if I’m up to it, but we might not. We’re skipping spinach, peas, green beans and chard this year - while these plants are easy to grow, we’re cutting back here to make the overall garden maintenance easier.