I skipped garden activities for a few weekends. The husband and I were off traveling a little bit. Beds also needed to be weeded more before they would be useful. This put my seed planting behind schedule by two weeks. Better late than never!
There has been another 8 hours of weeding done at the community garden plot. All but one of the large side beds have been cleared. Most of the middle beds are still a mess.
The other night my master plan we worked out. Ultimately I want a beautiful functional kitchen garden space. A lot of googling and pinterest-pinning later I’ve determined the elements of potagers that I love that are:
boldly defined raised beds with clean lines & clear pathways – Lucky me my plot already has this bold line design, it’s just needs some tidying still
Flowers in every bed – these could just be for beauty or serve a purpose, use them as cutting flowers, have them attract beneficial insects or have them repel insects I don’t want. They can even be edible.
Even spacing – I actually used a measuring tape to make sure my spacing of seeds and flowers were evenly spaced
Straight planting rows that frame another type of vegetable – I used a string that i had measured the placement of and planted along the string to get straight rows and planted the same type of plant all along the outside of the bed so that eventually onions will frame the carrots all the way around for example.
So my super rough sketch of what goes where is as follows:
The time for planting bulbing onions was two to four weeks ago. Here’s hoping it still works. I picked out two varieties. They are now bordering four varieties of carrots to experiment with primarily because they come from India or other warm placesand this is the year of experiments! There is so much more work that needs to be done. Other than weeding the remaining beds and the pathway I’ve started to lay down a thick layer of mulch over cardboard to hopefully help suppress the grass in the pathway. So what you see below is a lovely combination of half-finished projects. Partially weeded beds, partially mulched pathway and wonky supports haphazardly stuck in the ground. But, it is the truth. Nothing looks beautiful when you just start out.
Allium/Umbellifer Family beds:
Onions: Spacing 4 inches apart 2 rows per foot staggered.
Bulbing Texas Sweet
Bulbing Georgia Sweet
Carrots: spacing oxheart 3 inches per short row 1.5 inches per short row all others
Pusa Asita Black,
Pusa Rudhira Red,
Dill: one line of thinly spaced seeds in will be thinned.
mammoth and dukat
Brassica family beds:
The bed to the right has turnips in the middle of the marigolds and has rutabagas around the outside. The bed to the right has different turnips in the middles and beets surrounding the outside.
Turnips: – every 4 inches two rows
nagasaki akari Kabu (purple)
Purple top white globe
Rutabaga: – every 4 inches two rows
Collet vert (yellow and green)
Beets: – every 4 inches two rows.
Flat of egypt
Colorful beet mix
Now I hope it keeps raining so the seeds are well watered.
The fall garden was planted in September this year, all my radishes were of the 30 day ripening variety. Well…. It is now December and It’s finally time to pick a few. One thing that’s apparent is that the quickest ripening times are a necessity. Partially due to lack of sun on some of the beds, partially due to crazy unpredictable weather… things just take longer here than it seems like they should.
The fennel and the dill have started to produce, and since the hot peppers are still going strong it seemed like spicy dill and spicy fennel radishes were in order today.
One bunch of radishes per pint
Dill or Fennel
1 cup vinegar
1 tsp of black pepper
1/2 hot pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients and shake once a day for 2 days.
Let sit for 3 days before use. Is good for up to 6 months in the fridge.
The vinegar turns a beautiful pink color. It’s such pretty Christmas colors. Very fitting for the season.
We’re going to have to have some Tilapia tacos soon to use the pickled radishes on. YUM!
All the basil along the back was looking worse for wear, sunburned, spittle bugs, holes in leaves, I’m not going to be using it for anything anymore, it looks terrible, it’s shading out the peppers. Time for it to go.
Long bed fall 2017 planting experiments
Yesterday I cut down my basil bed and planted a fall garden in its place. Multiple experiments are going on in that long bed. I used the basil as mulch after cutting it up into manageable chunks rather than using them as the miniature trees they had turned into.
Not sure which variety of garlic will work out the best in my yard so I’m trying three kinds.
Soft neck Garlic (two varieties mid & late season)
Hard neck Garlic (two varieties mid season)
I’m fairly certain the hard neck varieties are supposed to be grown in colder climates, AND I got all my garlic starts from territorial seed company which is a pacific northwest grower so maybe not the best choice there but we shall see what happens. I’m hoping the elephant garlic and one of the soft-neck varieties work out.
Over-Planting the Garlic Bed for Fall/Winter
So the garlic is all along the back side of the bed closest to the fence, the front side of the bed is trellised still with summer & fall producing eggplant and hot peppers. between the trellis and the garlic I planted herbs:
Fern leaf dill
Right now these guys are being partly shaded by tall eggplants and peppers that are being woven through the trellis. I was worried about them getting enough sunlight. They will either need more than they are getting which means pruning up the eggplants. Or, maybe they’ll appreciate the extra shade.
On top of the garlic itself I put Siberian lettuce, a generous helping of chard (since the one in my first bed appears to be getting eaten by some pest. (Almost all the seedlings have been snipped and I’m not sure of the culprit) And some spinach. I don’t know if planting directly over the garlic is going to suck up too much nutrients or not from the bulb area. My plan is to basically keep and eye out on the elephant garlic and when i start noticing it popping through the soil i will need to cut back any of the other plants on top of the garlic row so it gan get enough light.
Hopefully this bed is productive all fall and winter.