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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Started Planting Veggies

HURRAY!  Got some plants in the ground in the garden, and some seeds too.  The transplants were broccoli/cauliflower/cabbage.  The direct seeds were radishes, spinach, carrots, parsnips, scallions, kohlrabi, and

Finally.  It seems that 1st planting day will never come.   Since this year is the first for the new raised bed garden in full planting (I was late starting last year because the enclosure wasn't complete), I wasn't sure where to plant stuff.  So last week was planning.

Nothing fancy, but I tend to generally use "square foot gardening".  I don't do it precisely, and I have to say that 4' wide beds are a bit awkward to reach into, but I do it as a general rule.  Not being sure how much space I had, I scribbled on paper for a while.

Largest stuff first.  The 22" diameter tomato cages take 4 sq ft and I love heirloom tomatoes above all other garden crops.  I set space for 6 cages (I have a place for 6 other cages outside the enclosure).  And no, 12 tomato plants are not too many for me.  Heirlooms produce fewer fruits (but are worth it).

Then comes the trellises of cucumbers and flat Italian beans, that took 11 sq feet at the ends of the beds.  And a few sq ft each for 2 bush squashes (one green, one yellow).

Then I want space for melons.  I love honeydew and cantaloupe melons, and I have some dwarf watermelons started.  But the space they take is not for them alone.  They like to grow on the ground, so there is some space for upright plants that will die before the melons grow fully.  That means broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower can be inter-planted in 2 beds where the honeydew and cantaloupe melons will grow later.

And then there is the bi-color corn.  I love that stuff (sweet AND "corny").    I'm taking a chance on growing small watermelons and corn in the same bed.  The idea is that the corn will grow high and the watermelons will grow low (and the watermelon won't try to climb the corn stalks).

The American Indians (especially the Iriquois) used to grow The Three Sisters.  Squash on the ground to shade out the weeds, corn to grow high, and pole beans to climb the cornstalks.  I've tried that a couple times and it didn't work.  The bi-color corn I grow has smaller stalks and the beans overwhelm them.  So the beans are separate this year.  The melons want to spread out over my raised beds, but I am going to keeps the vines corralled in the raised bed with tent pegs.  I hope that works.

But what about all the small crops?  Well, after all the space for the stuff above was accounted for , I had about 40 sq ft left.  3 are going to radishes, 3 to carrots, 3 to parsnips, 3 to shallots, 3 to scallions, 8 to spinach, 2 to Chinese cabbage, 2 to leeks, 1 to basil, 2 to kohlrabi, 2 to beets, 5 to bell peppers, and a few flowers to attract pollinators.

And there are some places around the yard where I can plant some herbs.  And some of the crops are "succession" crops, meaning I can reuse the spaces as the season goes on.  Radishes can be harvested and replanted several times a year, for example, and the broccoli/cauliflower/cabbages are harvested in June and a new crop planted in July for Fall harvest.

Hoping for the best!

1 comment:

Megan said...

Very exciting.

Sydney, Australia