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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jive potatoes!

I spent almost all day today out in the back garden, which I’ve been neglecting while focusing on the front and driveway-side perennial gardens. The fence-side bed where I have corn and potatoes growing (also marigolds) was really looking weed-infested and the potato plants were all faded and ready to be pulled out. You can see in this photo from last week that it was pretty overgrown:

fence-side bed

And now, after today’s hard work, ta-da!

fence-side veg bed

As I pulled out the wilted potato plants, I gathered a few potatoes, leaving some (those buried deeper) in the ground for later harvest. From what I’ve read/heard, you can leave potatoes in the ground for quite awhile and they’ll be the same when you pull them out later. I also harvested a few ears of the Tom Thumb Popcorn I planted, which is tiny and adorable (and needs to dry for a month or so before it’ll be ready for popping, according to what I’ve read). The potatoes are theoretically Desiree and Red Gold, though I think that some of the taters I grew last year might have spawned some, too.

potatoes and tom thumb popcorn

What a haul! Karl got inspired and created a mega delicious dinner from some of these potatoes. Back in my undergrad days, my pal Moses used to make a dish called Jive Potatoes and we made a variation on that dish tonight. First, I sliced the potatoes pretty thin (you could also chop them into chunks, but thinner slices cook faster) and then Karl tossed them with olive oil, oregano, minced garlic (not fresh, alas, as my garlic isn’t ready yet), and some general Italian seasoning.

mixing

mixing face!

ready for the grill

After it was all mixed, Karl fashioned a pouch from aluminum foil (we didn’t have any of those ready-made pouches around the house) and put that on the grill. After awhile (20 minutes? I forgot to keep track), Karl determined that they were ready and pulled the pouch off the grill.

after being grilled

after being grilled

plating

delicious jive potatoes

SO delicious! I dipped mine in ranch and Karl seasoned his with pepper (he likes things VERY peppery, to the point where it makes me sneezy). I highly recommend this dish, which was made all the more enjoyable by having grown the potatoes myself.

The mint that has taken over a small patch by the AC unit is in full bloom, and I seem to have two different varieties, one with slightly purplish blossoms:

mint

and a taller variety with white blossoms that the bees really seem to be enamored with:

mint

bee on mint

I haven’t made mojitos yet this summer but I definitely have more than enough mint. Anyone have a good mojito recipe?

More photos at Flickr.

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