Garden Update: Late May 2018

This year I’ve been doing more gardening than in previous years, and I think I’ve gone a bit overboard. In fact, I’ve been writing myself various notes about “holding back on planting too much” that I hope I’ll conveniently find sometime around February next year. And I’m still not certain that gardening has helped me destress and relax as much as I’ve thought it would. But that’s for another time.

This year’s garden is much larger due to a new planter that we built earlier in the year on a nice weekend, and because of some containers (also known as “pickle buckets” from Chick-Fil-A).  Below is a picture of the main container garden group, wrapped in netting to keep out the many neighborhood rabbits:

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Spinach (not doing so well) and two varieties of romaine lettuce, alongside a single strawberry plant.

I also have a larger container of strawberries that I just planted this weekend after picking up the plants yesterday on an obligatory trip to Home Depot for some flower hanging baskets:

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Strawberries hanging out in our largest container

The other containers are growing kale and cabbage along the warmer and sunnier side of our house:

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Cabbage and kale along the side of the house
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Up close kale, looking ready to harvest

The large (new) planter is 12 feet by 6 feet and is the home for this year’s tomato crop, pepper crop, and some corn that I thought would be fun for the kids (Strawberry Popcorn). Tomato varieties are mostly Early Girl (Burpee) and a few heirlooms, including John Baer and Black Cherry. I planted three types of peppers (first time for me), mostly of the sweet bell pepper variety, but also have three spicier salsa pepper plants. I’ve heard people say that peppers can cross-pollinate and come up with weird results, so we’ll see how these turn out:

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The large planter. I’m mulching most of my tomatoes with grass clippings.

This year I’m growing root vegetables in the older planter where I usually keep tomatoes.  On the left side, we’re doing three types of carrots, and on the right is a very tightly-planted row of turnips (too close together, doing great) and some beets (not doing great at all):

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Carrots on the left
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Turnips and beets on the right

Along the side yard, I added some raspberry plants which are new this year. They seem to be doing OK, and I’m hoping to cut them back at the end of the season in hopes for fruit next year:

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Three raspberry plants, doing well so far

Finally, I have a nice patch of green bean bushes started off in an area that has only grown weeds for the last few years at this house. I think these will do OK with some extra weeding. I’ve been fighting with a variety of Oxalis that has been multiplying in my yard and gardens like crazy. Right now, my only hope is to weed often just try to stay ahead of it.

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Beans, growing under some netting to protect against rabbits

I’m also growing some Celosia flowers from last year’s seed, and they’re doing well. No pictures of those at this time.

As I alluded to earlier, the garden hasn’t been as relaxing as I hoped, but I’m learning lessons from that. In fact, I’m hoping that next year I can scale back a bit and keep it manageable. Ideally, gardening can be something that I do together with the kids, and bringing them into the process will make it more fulfilling.