What’s Growing

May is just around the corner.  Time to get down to business in the garden.

Today will be a planting day; the seed starts are stretching and yawing and need to go into the ground.

Here’s an update of what’s growing:

cucumbers and melons and peppers and flowers

tomatoes ready to plant

The first leaky bucket I planted has not impressed me.  The radishes have done very well – I’ve been harvesting them for salads – but the carrots and parsley are puny.

The second leaky bucket has been a big winner.  The main difference between the two buckets is that this second started off outdoors, two weeks after the first bucket was planted.  The carrots in this bucket are giants comparatively!

The self watering container is doing fairly well.  The kale and radishes look good, but the lettuce seems to struggle a bit.  The onions are there, barely.  The jury is still out on how those late seeded onions will fare.

I have two separate oregano beds, one a lighter and more prolific type, and this type which is darker in color and has a more pungent flavor and smell (yes, I lost my labels and cannot recall what I planted).  I like to mix them for a nice blend once the leaves are dried.

Lovely lavender is preparing to bloom.  The bees will be oh, so happy!  I have two lavender shrubs and have allowed them to get too woody, so will attempt lavender propagation this year.

Here’s the first salvia bloom of the season.  Purple is such a wonderful garden color!

Tiny hyssop buds preparing to flower.  I’ve read that hyssop was used a lot as an air freshener in hospitals, but I just don’t “get it”.  Hyssop smells sort of skunky to me.

This is the rag-tag border, with wild violet and plantain.  I see asiatic day flower crowding in as well – I’ll have to put a halt to that!  I allow native invasives (yes, weeds, but beneficial weeds), but those day flowers are not welcome here.

I set the rosemary out a bit early.  We have had cool mornings lately and it’s a bit shocked by the change.  The walking onion container is my “mother plant”, which produced fifteen bulbs last summer.

There’s the start.  Now to get busy so I can get those poor leggy plants into the ground!

Later.

Dreamin’ Girl

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Garden Plots

Garden plots:  Sounds like a mystery doesn’t it?  hehehe

Vegetable capers.  teehee

OK.  I’m done. I’ll get serious now.  I was going to make a point:  I just keep adding planting spaces!

So far, Hubby had conceded, grudgingly; finally cautioning that I will take no more of his precious open yard space. I was shocked!

No more garden plots?! 

Horrors!

Let’s count, shall we:

Garden One: prime real estate, approx. 15 x 20
Garden Two: needy real estate, approx. 15 x 25
Garden Three: kitchen plot, approx. 6 x 6
Garden Four: Garden of Irony, approx. 4 x 10
Garden Five: north side wild zone, approx. 2 x 40
Garden Six: needy inner fence plot, approx. 2 x 40
Garden Seven: outer fence hardies, approx. 2 x 10
Garden Eight: western bake zone, approx. 3 x 20
Garden Nine: corner bake zone, approx. 2 x 3
Garden Ten: south side dry zone, approx. 2 x 10
Garden Eleven: drive shade zone, approx. 5 x 10

Ok. I get it.

I’ve encroached; we only have 1/2 an acre to work with, and pool and patio space is important too. However, in my defense, gardening plots are home improvements, right? I simply get carried away with using most of our curb appeal planting areas for useful plants. Silly me!

No new plots for me, we’ll stick with the established garden plot plans for this year.

Our focus will be on Gardens One thru Four, since they are the primary food and herb gardens. I do want to spend time on Gardens Six and Nine if time allows; I’ve got new flower seed to attract more beneficial insects. I also want to grow tobacco!  Maybe that’ll win Hubby’s support.

A few of the early plants will show up from last year in One, Two and Four, since a few of each garden item that bolted was allowed to go to seed. I’ll allow those volunteers to grow where they will, culling when necessary.  This is a guaranteed option since I use only heirloom seeds.

Our perennials will show up as well: hyssop, mint, lemon balm, lavender, oregano, tarragon, sage, chives, chard and wild onion. The wild seed starts will include plantain and wild violet in Gardens Three and Four.

Garden One is lush and high in nitrogen.

I plan to put tomatoes, corn, cantaloupe and pumpkin in this plot. Fill-in plants will include sunflower, marigolds, basil, alyssum, cilantro and dill.

Garden Two is going to be the test garden.

Garden Two

The large metal containers will border the west side (where that water trough is hiding in the background), leaving the main space to grow green beans and dry beans, peppers, onions, broccoli and cauliflower.

Garden Two is also the space most loved by the lambs quarters, and I’ll add sunflower, alyssum, cilantro and dill as well. Basil has self-seeded in this area also, and chamomile was started last year.

I’ve asked Hubby to rescue salvaged wood that I plan to use to create raised beds. The drainage is poor in this garden and the quack grass, ragweed and bindweed are a constant threat.

The raised beds will hold homemade ollas (we’ll share this project later), to assist with water needs; and soaker hoses will also be employed for additional moisture. I’ll start simple with the ollas, adding easy fill water lines if they prove beneficial for this area.

I also want to start a small hugelkultur bed in Garden Two. We have excellent seasoned wood available, and I’m extremely curious about this gardening method. Potatoes may be an option, or winter onions.

I’m hesitant about potatoes, although I may turn our test barrel (from our water barrel project – I’ll share this with you later) into a test potato planter. Potatoes have taken a lot of time and labor in the past, with results that were less than satisfactory. We’ll see if they make the cut…

Garden Three plans include new starts of lavender and chamomile.

Garden Three

I’ll retry thyme as well (it did extremely well two years in Garden Ten, but nothing since). The resin garden containers will be stationed here also. I expect to see regrowth of lettuce in this garden and will sow spinach here as well.

I allowed that cosmos to seed, hoping the wind scattered seeds into more appropriate locations.  :)

Garden Four will be a test bed for flowers that attract beneficial insects.

Garden Four: The Garden of Irony

It also holds spring flower bulbs, garlic, chives, wild onions, hyssop, lemon balm and a hydrangea shrub.  Oh, yeah, it also has chunks of rusty iron in it:  hence the title “Garden of Irony”.  :)

I expect that the snap dragons, zinnias and cosmos that went to seed will make an appearance as well.

There it is. Easy peasy, right?

Overall, my emphasis will be to grow companion plants together.  That’s why I have two main vegetable garden plots, keeping separate those plants that don’t play well together.

Additionally, I’m working to attract beneficial insects, both in the vegetable gardens and in separate flower gardens.

How are your garden plans? Are you itching to play in the dirt like I am?

Dreamin’ Girl