Remember last year when I went all out with our summer garden? I adored that garden and it was sort of Liv and my’s pet project for a good portion of the summer (and actually well into the fall). My winter garden did not fair as well but it did produce mini everything for a couple of months.
We are about a month into spring and our veggies/herbs/edible flowers (!) have officially been planted.
It’s exciting that some of this took off right away. We actually planted that nasturtium (pretty orange/red flowers there in the front) and the tall sunflowers (towards the back) from seed in the winter time, but as soon as they broke ground they zoomed. I think we have two sunflowers in there from an entire packet of seeds, and likewise just a few actual nasturtium plants despite maybe 15 seeds going into the ground. May the best seedling win.
Our tomatoes pictured here are about three weeks old (to our garden, that is), they went in first after a random trip to the Lowe’s garden section. In three weeks they tripled in size! The rest of the spring planting happened just recently and has included beans, squash and basil. It’s a hodge podge but I don’t mind the busy-ness! Bring on the veggies.
I added trellis to the back of the garden (along the right wall) in hopes that I could grow beans up it. My winter garden resulted in dead peas and my spring garden has already killed all but two of the edamame planted. I think that that little strip just does not get enough sun and that I ought to stop trying there :(. As a test I’ve planted one bean plant in a cage in full sun (see above) to see if it’s just a bean family thing or if we actually can grow them after all.
My little edamame holding on to dear life!
Many of our herbs are around from last year, including sage, oregano, mint (chocolate and regular – it took over there for a while! we had to mojito it back into a proper size) and thyme. I added more basil this time around so that we’d have plenty to pair with the new heirloom tomatoes (insert heart emoji eyes here).
Those strawberries above produced two miniature fruits last year but they stuck around through the winter so I’m letting them keep their garden box space rent free for just a bit longer.
Here’s the full line up of spring 2015 additions:
I am most excited about the artichoke, though he started as a sad little fellow that the nursery discounted to 50% off because of condition. Fingers crossed. (We used our local Armstrong Garden nursery for all but the tomato plants). I may add an eggplant if I can train the squash and cucumbers to crawl down the walls of the garden instead of the usual spreading out. I’m packing a lot into this little garden box space.
I also can’t wait to start harvesting those heirloom tomatoes! As mentioned above, nothing like a perfectly ripe heirloom + fresh farmer’s market mozzarella + a basil leaf + olive oil + fat grains of salt for an excellent summer appetizer. Oh. My. Goodness.
New to the trial and error process this year:
-amended soil from the nursery (mixed it right into last year’s compost pile soil)
-a light layer of mulch (instead of cocoa hulls, which we did last year and which smelled amazing but ended up molding)
In the above photos you can see that I took some before and some after mulch placement.
Our beets started as wee little seedlings in the winter and are still growing. Who knew that it took like six months to produce a decently sized beet? I will treasure my store bought beets ever the more.
Not pictured is a similar sweet potato with a similar story. Anyone know how to harvest those? The potato plant started as a potato, grew roots, was planted and now the brilliant lime green leaves have taken over. When do I know to dig the root veggies up?
We knew it was time to plant our spring garden when I had to abruptly pull almost all of our winter veggie plants from an infestation of aphids. They took over! One day no bugs, next day they were 3-4 layers deep. Ugh it was really gross.
Here are my underpaid workers a week before I pulled all of the broccoli and Brussel sprouts.
See how much smaller that nasturtium was just a bit ago? Crazy. Side note: nasturtium (like pansies and a few other varieties) are completely edible. They’re so pretty in salads, as garnish or even floating in drinks. I’m excited to experiment, though they do have a bite to them.
Those tall yellow flowers behind the girls are blooming broccoli flowers (who knew!). They were beautiful.
Another plant (like the beets) that took forever and a day to produce anything were the Brussel sprouts. I was able to save one full size plant after the aphid attack but it still had only dollhouse-sized vegetable sprouts after an entire season. I’m wondering if any Brussel sprouts will be enjoyed this season by the Spenla family?
Here’s one of the bad Brussels just before I pulled it:
See the white powdery mildew? That plant had a few other problems, too. Supposedly you can wipe those leaves down with a baking soda + water spray (instead of cutting just the leaves, which can damage the tender veggies that they cover) and it should be fine, but I ended up pulling this plant because all of the issues.
Do you have veggies in the ground? What are you planting this year? Or is a garden totally off of your radar :).
More garden box goodies, including what we did with the harvest last year.