|From In the Garden|
It is that time of the month-Veggie Garden Update time and I have to ask where oh where did the time go? It's hard to believe it is the third Wednesday already! Anyone else feel this way? The above chipmunk might be feeling it wishes time would pass quicker. It had the misfortune of getting stuck inside of a cinder block and my trusty best friend in the garden-BJ-sniffed it out. It was a lucky critter to get away but was most scared though you really can't tell it from its picture. I think if it had more time it would've dug its way out but as it was it only made a hole big enough to fit its head into the adjoining hole of the cinder block. The body was on the other side of the partition. Poor thing. Maybe it will move on now. Onto the vegetables...
In this shot you can almost see the entire vegetable garden. There are a total of six beds including the center circle bed (it used to be the banana bed). I do not include an annual/ornamental bed in this bed count, only the beds used for vegetables. Where the bananas used to grow I have planted cantaloupe to hopefully grow on the cedar arbor. You can make out the large cabbage plants also in this bed. They are doing fantastically! Now if I can harvest the heads prior to the cabbage worms taking over I will declare them a success. Some years I can, some I can't. To the left of the above picture are two beds. Let's take a closer look at them.
Lettuce grows the full length of this bed both in and out of the coldframe. The A-frame is in preparation for bushel gourds; which have been sown but which are slow to germinate during the recent cool weather we've been having. Weather in Middle Tennessee has been a bit odd, though I welcome the rain and coolness. Looking through the A-Frame you can barely make out Swiss chard in the far bed. It is about to flower and has probably gone past its prime. I initially thought this was kale. Duh me. My mother pointed out it was chard and then it came to me. Hey, the memory ain't what it used to be. These two beds are on the left of the first vegetable garden picture. This is the south side of the garden but north of mature oak trees.
Here are the same two beds from a different point of view. Note all of the lettuce growing. The lettuce has been absolutely awesome! I purchased a few six packs from my local big box store and also started a bunch of seedlings. We eat the lettuce every single day and it has been the most rewarding vegetable this year (but it's still early). I do think that as the weather warms up more I will be unable to eat the lettuce because the lettuce is already starting to get a bit bitter. Try saying that twice!
There are two beds on the right side of the vegetable garden. The center circle garden is the focal bed but the whole vegetable garden works well for me. It is a bit small and somewhat shady but I still try to grow veggies. Sometimes I'm successful. This first right hand side bed has tons of peas and lettuce seedlings. I grew two kinds of peas. The taller peas I chose to grow are Burpee Super Sugar Snap peas. I used to think I only liked the taller varieties but I'm not so sure now. This variety is delicious! The package said peas will be mature in 64 days. The time is pretty much on schedule and these were easy to germinate though it took a few weeks. The shorter variety I grew is Burpee's Burpeeana Early. The package said the vines grow to 24" and do not need support. I have not found that to be true. Mine are a bit shorter and leaning on the lettuce. They do however produce as many peas as the tall ones. All things considered I think I prefer taller peas in my garden simply for ease of picking (no bending) and the taller variety seems to cling much better to the support.
The bed right next to the pea/lettuce bed contains five tomato plants. Mixed in with the tomatoes are a few holdovers from last year. Can you see them? It is elephant garlic. I will not harvest this garlic until the foliage turns yellow and falls over. I have also sown some marigolds along the outside of this bed for decorative purposes as well as for companion planting benefits. Directly outside of this garden is the Sunny Perennial Border. This border is located on the northern side of the vegetable garden and adds so much to the vegetable gardens without taking away the sun that it is a definite bonus growing the perennials like this.
The two hay bales growing their peppers and eggplant are doing quite well. If the eggplants can survive the flea beetles I should get some good eggplants. Fingers crossed on that.
Other vegetables planted are kuri squash, and zucchini. I planted beans last year but have no plans to do so this year. I never grow corn because I don't have the space and it is just as easy to buy it at the grocery store, though not as good of course.
Some general notes on vegetables. If you desire all season long vegetables you might wish to succession sow cucumbers, beans, corn, and zucchini. I plan to try succession sowing this year. It is not too late to plant hot season crops but it is too late to plant cool season crops. In fact, all cool season crops should be about ready to harvest in a month or so. This includes garlic, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.
How is your vegetable garden doing this year?
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,
In the Garden