Beginnings of a Vegetable Garden – Phase 2: the Warm weather bed
Thanks to a kick in the butt by my mother-in-law, i finally got myself to the store to buy more manure compost and top soil as well as transplants for my second garden bed. Actually we all went. I had been procrastinating because i knew it would be pretty difficult for me to get all the soil, plants and tomato wire cages into the car and home and into the bed by myself. Graciously, my mother-in-law suggested we all go Tuesday evening – just in time before the nursery closed. Yay! So with the help of my in-laws, and my husband – and of course my daughter – we were able to get everything home within 1.5 hours, and then my husband and his father put all the soil into the bed and tilled it for me =)
|the warm garden bed – ready to go (almost)|
My plan was to get everything into the bed yesterday…but the weather had something else in mind. It was a torrential downpour. So instead, I took my “before” pictures, and planned out what would go where.
Here is my garden plan and my list of plants and spacings:
I was struggling a little bit about what to do with the tomatoes. The spacing on the plant posts said 2-3 feet. I was originally planning to do one per square foot, but my mother-in-law who is quite a successful gardener, said she spaces hers out “at least” 2 feet, and thinks less than that would decrease yield. I know that square foot gardening is different than the traditional rows, but I really want a lot of tomatoes, so I was scared to do 1 per sq ft. So in the end, I am in fact giving each plant 3 feet of space: 3 plants per 9 square feet. I’m probably over doing it…but again, I want to make lots of Italian pomodoro sauce (I got a good recipe from a chef in Firenze while we were there!).
Here are pix of all my little transplants:
|japanese eggplant and zuchini|
|my transplants =)|
Now for some long overdue follow up of my cool weather bed…or as I call it, the “leaf bed” – i.e. I largely get leaves from it. I have thoroughly enjoyed not having to buy any salad and eating TONS of greens from our garden. It is so flavorful! The arugula is by far my favorite – I still get a kick out of how spicy it is! That being said, I’m looking forward to having a garden with some actual vegetables – or at least something other than a leaf to harvest!
|the cool garden bed|
As you can see the garden is pretty full!
I never realized how BIG and TALL broccoli plants get! In fact, there is a WHOLE LOT of plant and very little broccoli! It has only been about 2 months…so hopefully more will come. I don’t think I will plant broccoli or cauliflower the second time around, because the yield is so slow. So you end up having much lower return on your time and space investment.
Speak of which – here are the cauiflower plants. They too are tall with HUGE leaves (*any ideas of what to do with broccoli and cauliflower leaves?) and there is NO cauliflower yet!
|no white heads yet – just big ol cauliflower leaves…|
Hopefully we will actually get some nice big cauliflower heads in there sometime soon!
|cilantro – stalks are getting really big (i cut the huge ones already)|
yesterday I went through and cut all the HUGE stalks of cilantro. They were literally 2-3 times the size of what you see above, and were not producing very much. So I just cut them off – hoping more would grow. the cilantro seeds I planted are actually doing well – so I think I might just pull up these plants and plant seeds in their place. That will give me my 4th crop of cilantro (you can never have too much!)
|radishes – big leaves, still teeny tiny radishes|
The radish leaves are getting big and crowded, and a few of the plants have teeny tiny radishes barely covered by the soil. Not sure if they are just too crowded? But not much yield yet.
Haven’t used this as much as I thought I would. I probably won’t include it in my garden next year. I need some more recipes…
Same with the bok chi – well that’s not true. it isn’t even big enough to harvest yet…but I’m worried I won’t use it just like the chinese cabbage!
The mesclun and arugula have been AWESOME. Unfotunatley they too are getting woody, spiky stalks with less leaves. I went through and cut all those down too – a couple of them are starting to grow small leaves again. Phew!
|spinach – finally getting more leaves instead of just making really big one|
FOr the longest time, each spnach plant would only have about 4 leaves – and as I would cut, it would make just enough to replace what it lost. And then if I didn’t cut anything, instead of making more leaves, it would just make the existing leaves bigger! Not sure what that is about – i.e. if that is the plant’s normal progression or if it is because of something I am or have done. but I’m glad that it is finally starting to make more leaves now!
I unfortunately did not get a trelice up in time, and now all the plants are winding around each other – so I think it might be too late to set them up. I am told by my inlaws however, that they can grow just on the ground if I wanted to, so I guess I won’t stress too much about getting the trelice up there.
|a little bug enjoying the view =)|
Well that’s it! Thanks for tuning in =)
|first seed planting of cilantro – planted as recommended on package|
|second crop of cilantro seed plants – planted per my mother-in-law’s (and experienced gardener) directions: split the seeds in half, soak in water overnight, then plant with barely any top soil covering|
|herbs – all doing well except the rosemary…not sure why?|