Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Planting Complete!

I haven't posted much because it's been a rough week (well, a rough month, actually, but c'est la vie). We managed some quality time out in the garden this afternoon though and finished up some work that needed to be done. Everything is planted now and we don't expect to put anything else in until late summer

Here is Josh clearing out our hugelkultur experiment. It sure grew weeds well, let's hope it does the same for beans! It's recommended that you start out hugelkultur beds by growing something like beans to fix nitrogen in the soil, so that's what we're doing. The benefit of hugelkultur is supposed to be decreased water usage, so we haven't run any drip line in this bed, we're planning to let nature take care of it unless until major drought hits.

Over in the potato patch, we originally dug deep rows that we planted the potatoes in. I have periodically shoveled the dirt from between the rows on top of the potatoes so they will produce more. What I did today will probably be the last round. We are starting to see small flower buds on some of the plants, which means it won't be too much longer before they're ready to dig up.
In one corner of the potato patch, where our big flood killed off the plants before they could get a good start, I have mounded up dirt (to promote drainage, this is an area that has been plowed under and is pretty good, but it can get too soggy). I planted spacemaster and picklebush cucumbers down the middle of the mounds and yellow crookneck and zucchini squash on the sides of the mounds.
Over in the raised beds, we have:

The bottom bed is our strawberries we put in a while back. The top bed is a variety of bell peppers (orange, yellow, red, purple, gypsy) and we added cilantro seed recently
The bottom bed is broccoli that is starting to take off (and weeds I need to pull) and that hugelkultur bed, which is now planted with blue lake and black beans along with a few random cattle beans we had floating in the seed box
Here are the two onion beds that are doing well. I threw dill seed down in these beds today too. I have a few plans for the dill this year. If the cucumbers do well, I would like to can some pickles again. I'm also hoping we can attract some swallowtail butterflies again. I've also read you can lay dill around squash plants to deter squash bugs. Not sure we'll get any growing soon enough to use it for that, but it'd be interesting to try.
Here is that tomato bed I planted with the ollas. I added some sweet and thai basil seed here.
The carrots are taking off. They are thick enough to keep weeds at bay now and could handle a little bit more thinning in a few spots.
The other two onion beds got the worst of the flooding and they show it. It's looking like we'll still get quite a few onions though

We started dismantling the last of our octagon shaped beds (this was an idea we originally had to make sprinkler watering easier, but we opted to convert to rectangular beds with drip irrigation a few years ago). Because of how the timing worked out, only half of it was dismantled and reformed. We planted more peppers (sweet banana, tam jalapeno and jalapeno) here, plus okra, some old lettuce seed and a few more cucumbers. At the edge of the bed, I added watermelon and canteloupe seed where the vines can trail into the yard. We've never had much luck growing melons, but we'll see what they do.
In the half-octagon that's left, we put in more tomato plants, oregano seed, and some more zucchini squash at the edges that will hang outside of the bed.
Whew! It was a lot of work, but it sure is nice to look out there and see it all growing! It'll be even better to be eating fresh veggies this summer!

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