Veg bed plans for 2011

Okay! As promised, here are my plans for the veg beds this year. I saw a post the other day that recommended a (new?) site called Olioboard for putting together garden beds. I tried it and it works pretty well. It was easy to use and worked like I expected it would – and it’s free!

This is the first raised bed (the one that lives on the left side of the back garden):

Raised Bed - left - plan 2011From back to front, left to right, we have:

True Gold Sweet Corn (all the way across)

Emerald Giant Sweet Pepper x2   Anaheim Hot PepperPurple Beauty Sweet Pepper x2

Rocky Top Lettuce Mix .      Iceberg Lettuce .     Bloomsdale Spinach .    Calabrese Broccoli

 

I’m hoping that I haven’t squished too much into the bed – I have definitely done that before. I think I’m okay on this one, though. The bed is approximately 8’x4′ (I think), and I think I’ve allowed for enough room. Not entirely sure I’ve done that on this next one, which lives on the right side of the back garden:

Raised Bed - right - plan 2011Here we have, from back to front, left to right:

Tom Thumb Popcorn (across half)                     Strawberry Popcorn (across the other half)

Early Russian Cucumber .          Chadwick Cherry Tomato .        Marketmore 76 Cucumber

.                                   Mule Team Tomato .                Brandywine Tomato

Atomic Red Carrot (across half)                                  Muscade Carrot (across the other half)

 

I think this will be not too crowded, as long as I keep the tomato and cucumber vines in check. I also have the long veg bed along the fence. I’m switching up the spots where I’ve grown some of the same stuff in past years, so no part of the soil gets drained of something that a particular plant really likes. Here’s the long bed along the fence:

long fence veg bed - plan 2011The left column, which will be on the fence side of this bed, has, from top to bottom:

Golden Sweet Snow Peas

Contender Bush Beans

Blue Lake Bush Beans

Fin de Bagnol Beans

 

The right side column has, from top to bottom:

Black Beauty Zucchini

Winter Luxury Pie Pumpkin

Sugar Baby Watermelon

Early Prolific Straightneck Squash

Charentais Melon

Oxheart Tomato

Blacktail Mountain Watermelon

Buttercup Squash

Zucchini Cocozelle

 

I just threw these into this plan, no reason for the order, because they all get the same relative amount of sun and nothing will be shading them, and I’m not sure if there’s any benefit to growing them in a particular order. Hints and tips appreciated, if anyone has any.

So that’s the plan! Roughly, anyway. I’ll also be planting some pretty red lettuce and cabbage in the front garden, hopefully, although last year I tried that and they never came to much. Here’s hoping they’ll turn out better this year. I’m going to make an updated map of the front garden using this software – keep an eye out for that here soon.

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weekend update

So I finally decided that I’ve had enough of the neighbors walking on the seedlings in our front garden (nee yard) and put up a temporary fence to keep the garden safe.

temporary fence installed

It stretches all the way along this side of the yard, so hopefully it will be effective. We could theoretically fence off the other edges, too, but I’m not convinced that’s necessary. As you can see, I also planted three new bushes there – blueberry, black raspberry, and red raspberry. I usually like to get edible plants from heirloom seed or from the farmers market (or other reputable organic sources), but I gave in and got these from Lowe’s – the farmers market had nothing to offer and the seeds I’d planted here got trampled to death. I’m guessing that I’ll need to protect these from the birds once they start fruiting. Anyone have suggestions of effective ways of doing that?

In other front garden news, a number of the other plants I put in are doing pretty well! The dark lord geranium is looking good:

dark lord geranium

I also noticed that something is sprouting up through the mulch on the side of the house – I think it might be grapes. Can anyone confirm or deny?

something growing up through the mulch - grapes?

In the back gardens, the daylilies and asiatic lilies are budding and getting ready to bloom.

asiatic lily

daylily

asiatic lily

The lilies beside the garage are really, really tall! Some of them are approaching the point of being taller than I am!

garage-side garden

The golden sweet snow peas are still blossoming, with a gorgeous purple color:

golden sweet snow pea blossom

There are also scads of pea pods! I’ve been eating them right off the vine while I wander through the veg garden. They are so sweet and the texture is divine!

golden sweet snow peas

So the other day, after I finished hosing off the aphids that were hanging out on the potato plant blossoms, I noticed what I thought was an odd-looking ladybug. It wasn’t a ladybug, it was a colorado potato beetle. Yipes! I picked it off and killed it, and found, picked, and destroyed the leaf under which it had laid eggs. I searched but didn’t find any others, but then a day later, I found these!

unknown insect: Colorado Potato Beetle larvae?

They’re larval colorado potato beetles, and they were chomping the hell out of the potato leaves, as you can see above. Ugh! I think I’ve gotten rid of all of them now, so hopefully we’re done with that. I did order some ladybugs and praying mantis eggs which should arrive soon. I fully expect them to fly away, but hopefully a few will hang out and make a home in my garden (and a meal of any other pests). We already have some good pest-eaters in the garden, one of whom made an appearance this week:

toad in the toad house

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rainy day-ny

It rained almost all day today and while I was mostly aware of that through my office window, when I got home I noticed that things are just freaking gorgeous in the back veg garden! I threw on my gardening boots and took a quick trip through the main back veg garden.

primary veg garden

The wintercreeper is slowly growing up the back fence – I can’t wait until the fence is hidden behind plant-green instead of icky old green paint. It was all I could do not to just yank this iceberg lettuce out of the ground and eat it right on the spot.

iceberg lettuce

One of the beans I planted is flowering already! They haven’t grown very high and I’m wondering if they should be flowering at this height. They were seeds leftover from last year and I’m not sure if they were still 100%.

bean blossom

The sugar snap peas are also blossoming.

sugar snap pea

As are the golden sweet snow peas, which are also already making pea pods!

golden sweet snow pea

I can’t wait till the peas grow more and I can eat some of these off the vine. So, so delicious. The hyssop is starting to flower, too, and will hopefully be attracting pollinators like crazy pretty soon. I love how the purple flowers set off the slight silver-y-ness of the foliage.

hyssop

More photos on Flickr, of course.

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