Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Vegetable Beds Update

It feels like it's been a while since the last photos of the raised beds.
Here are some I took yesterday evening.

First, the original raised bed.

Here you can see snow peas growing along the fenced edges.  No idea if they'll do well in our climate.  I guess we'll see!  Donald selected them, and now that I read the packet, I see that they are "very sensitive to heat".  Ha ha ha!  (Maybe he was in a hurry and didn't read the back... Either that or he's just an eternal optimist!) Well, good luck, pretty little snow peas.  Maybe the remaining seeds can be planted for a cool-weather crop, later in the year...  (Otherwise, why do they even sell the darned things down here?!  That's one of my pet peeves-- places selling things that aren't at all well-suited to the local climate.  You really have to do your research and not just assume that they wouldn't sell you something that has almost zero chance of surviving our brutal summers.  A packet of seeds-- not a big deal-- but an expensive potted plant...)

Then there are four broccoli plants growing left center.  Again, no idea how they'll do here.  Another of Donald's choices.  I've never heard of people growing broccoli down here, so I'm a little bit skeptical.  They seem to be doing fine so far, but our nightmarish heat and humidity haven't arrived yet, either.

There's a clump of chives in front of the broccoli, too, and in the back we have a couple hills for squash and zucchini.    If they're planted where we think they are (and not vice versa), more of the yellow squash seeds sprouted than the zucchini-- but I'm positive I've read that zucchini do well here, so I remain hopeful. 

Garden Progress

Next, the new raised bed.

Here's a shot looking down the length of the whole bed.  The posts and sticks in the ground aren't the supports for the tomatoes, by the way.  Donald just stuck them in there to keep the weight of the sheets from damaging the plants, back when there was a freeze risk. 

Garden Progress

Now, the same bed, from the front.

On the right, in the holes in the blocks, we have some dill seedlings.  (The dill did really well, last year.  We don't use it much-- just with some potato dishes, really-- but we already had the seeds, and it's just fun to watch it grow.)

Then, inside the bed, we have a row of okra seeds that we'll have to thin out to a couple of plants--  I guess.  I've never grown okra before-- and Donald certainly hasn't-- but I think they get pretty big.  Two is probably the most we could possibly fit here.  Donald doesn't like okra, so this is for me-- much like the cucumbers we planted against the fence in the yard are his-all-his.  (Not a big cucumber fan.)

Next, tomatoes.  Varieties, varieties... We have the tags saved somewhere... Here!  "Homestead"-- Apparently an heirloom tomato (so we should try to remember to save some seeds to try next year)-- determinate, which means bushier, bears crop all at once.  "Red Beefsteak"-- Also marked as "heirloom"-- indeterminate, which means it may need more caging in, and (maybe?) tomatoes through the season instead of in one big crop.  However, I read now that "Red Beefsteak" tomatoes mature later in the season, so we'll have to keep that in mind.  "Homestead" tomatoes apparently are good at setting fruit even in hot weather-- lots of tomatoes in a concentrated period of time. 

Garden Progress

In this photo, the two tomatoes after the block marked with the plastic container are "Sweet 100" cherry tomatoes.  (We have two more of these planted in a flower bed inside the yard.) 

Next-- still going from right to left-- there are four bell peppers.  There are onions in the holes in the blocks along the back, and the beginnings of smaller bunching onions in a few holes in the front.  (I need to plant more seeds in a few of those holes.  I tried using some of the old seeds leftover from last year, and they didn't come up well at all.  Something to remember for next time! Onion seeds, like chives, don't last well.  You're better off buying a fresh envelope.)

Garden Progress

Here's where things get harder to see.  ;o)

The onions in the holes continue across the back and down (most of) the width of the bed.  In front, there are lots of chives.  The bigger diameter ones are surviving plants from last year.  The smaller ones are from this year.  (We divided one small pot into several pieces.)  There are also chives in the pot outside the bed.

There are supposed to be four rows of seedlings inside the bed, but one row hasn't really come up yet (assuming it ever will).  I'm not sure I remember which row is which (Donald planted them), but I think the first on the left is radishes, followed by a row of some sort of lettuce (loose-leaf type), a row of Swiss chard (large ribbed dark green), and another row of lettuce (loose-leaf).  I don't know which lettuce is which, though.  We planted "Black Seeded Simpson" from last year (but supposedly lettuce seed is good for a minimum of two years) and a fresh packet of mesclun ("Gourmet Greens Mixture")-- which don't look that much alike, so it should be obvious soon which one came up.

Garden Progress

And I think that about wraps up the tour of the raised beds.  :o)