Veggie garden update

It's been a while since I took a look at my small veggie garden, but I've mentioned it briefly in a few other posts recently. Things are going well with the edibles, but before we look at its current state, here's what it looked like 5 weeks ago:

That was the first week of April. Not bad, but let's see what's going on right now...


Here it is today:

A bit more going on, right? I don't know if I've done this before, so let's take a look at everything growing not only inside the fence, but around the fence perimeter. Only the south and west sides of the fence have "outside" planting beds for reference, so let's see them:

Garlic chives, a zillion of them


Onions, looking okay, but not great.

Rosemary 'Arp', overwintered easily last year. Exciting!

Garlic, looks to be doing quite well.

Horseradish. I've yet to harvest any of the roots. Maybe this fall?

Now we'll move inside the fence, to the raised beds. Remember that I made them much deeper this year, and added lots of amendments: manure, organic fertilizer, compost, coffee grounds. It seems to be doing the trick -- but maybe it's the mild winter/early spring that's the reason for the bounty.

This bed contains Swiss chard, some white radishes, a row of cilantro/coriander, and a couple of carrots that took about 2 months to germinate and I'll just pull out as weeds:

This next one has from left to right: lettuce and kale, spinach, and last year's kale:

That kale that overwintered has produced so many servings of greens for us, it's been the most productive planting ever in my veggie garden!

The remaining leaves are getting pretty small and a little bitter, but they're still good in salads and sauteed. Even though I've been cutting off flower heads, there are still plenty of blooms for the bees. These plants will have to be pulled out soon though, as I need the space! I have some more kale seedlings to put here, so I shouldn't feel bad about pulling them... I do though.

The largest bed here is last on this tour. From west to east we have two types of peas on the black netting trellis, then mizuna and komatsuna:

Switching camera views and moving east we see some small tatsoi greens then more peas:

These peas are behaving more like the ones I grow every year -- small plants. They're producing, but I'd rather see them grow taller. There are two different types here too.

Moving on there are a few tomato plants in the back of the bed, some new beets in the front, and the monsters on the end of the bed are last year's beets:

Those year-old beet plants have been just as productive as the kale has, producing so many meals of delicious beet greens I lost count. The plants are huge though, about 5' (1.5m) tall:

They have to go, and unlike the kale, I'm pulling them right now to make room for more tomato plants:

Those were some large roots! I'm a bit sad to see them go.

The new plants will soon make me forget all about the beets I hope. Besides a couple of tomatoes I've planted my Mexican sour gherkins plant (aka "mouse melons") here:

This is a new plant for me this year, so I'm excited to see how it does!

The trellis is some sturdy fencing tied to metal electrical conduit pipes, and is at least 7' (2m) tall. I like those pipes much better than rebar in the garden: they're cheaper, lighter, don't easily rust and plenty strong enough. The only drawback is they're too smooth so tying plants up can be trickier (or impossible with a plant that doesn't have a sturdy stem or good grip).

Did you notice in the first bed I showed you that there was a nice empty spot, that looked just perfect for a new plant?

I did. This is the zucchini squash that produced yesterday's bloom photos. This one may get attacked by squash vine borers being planted this early, but I'm not afraid to experiment in the garden. I have more seedlings growing indoors for planting later (after threat of vine borers has passed).

There are only a couple more plants to show you. Growing inside the east fence we have:

I love the bronze fennel! It really gets too large for this spot, but I don't want to be without it, and the seedlings that grow outside the fence always get eaten by rabbits (or something). They must like the anise flavor as much as I do!

Finally, this guy is doing great -- unfortunately:

That's a beautiful specimen of poison ivy, and it makes working at this end of the veggie garden a little dangerous. One false step backward and my bare legs get brushed by the evil leaves.

So I make sure I plant my feet and just get my work done.

Just like the edibles in my veggie garden this year.


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Katie  – (May 17, 2012 at 8:05 AM)  

It might be a smaller veggie garden but it looks fabulously productive, Alan!

Maggie –   – (May 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM)  

I'm wondering, can you not eat the year old beet roots that you pulled? I know I'm very much looking forward to some harvard beets from our garden in a month or so!

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (May 17, 2012 at 10:53 AM)  

Wow, the variety is amazing! Definitely puts our monoculture of tomatoes, peppers and basil to shame.

Alan  – (May 17, 2012 at 11:01 AM)  

Maggie: I assumed that sending out dozens of 5' flower stalks would deplete the roots of anything worth eating, and although I didn't take a bite it seemed that way: the roots were spongy with a very thick "skin".

Alan  – (May 17, 2012 at 11:02 AM)  

Gerhard: that's a triculture. ;-)

Maggie –   – (May 18, 2012 at 10:16 AM)  

That would make sense!! Thick and spongy is no good!

Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (May 19, 2012 at 9:23 AM)  

WOW!! Lots of yummy goodness in your veggie garden. Very impressed!

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