It is our second year in our Raised Bed Vegetable Garden and we are starting to plant in May! We are sowing seeds, planting veggies, getting the kids to help, and excited to watch them grow!
Planting Day in the Garden
May 22, 2020
We had a very successful first year in the garden last summer and are doing a lot of things the same and a few things different and new. Aside from a few things we planted in April and early May (radish, kale, peas, lettuce, carrots) we planted the majority of our garden today–May 22, 2020. As this is a garden journal for me, note that this year I shopped for my plants while wearing a mask as our coronavirus-stay-at-home order was recently lifted a few days ago. Here is what we planted this year:
Veggies we bought starter plants
These have been the easiest vegetables to grow in raised beds so we are sticking with what worked well last year and adding a few extras.
Tomatoes (5), Peppers (4), Eggplant, Broccoli (2 – 4packs), Cauliflower, Zucchini, Yellow Crook Neck Summer Squash, Cabbage-reddish purple, Winter Squash-Buttercup, Kohlrabi, Basil, Rosemary, Flowers- Zinnia
Veggies we transplanted from seeds started inside ourselves
Tomatoes (4), Peppers (1), Cantaloupe (7), Butternut Squash (4)
Seeds started in the ground
These were the easiest vegetables to grow from seed, and seeds are cheap allowing us to experiment with lots of variety.
Green Beans-green-yellow-purple, Cucumber, Winter Squash and Pumpkins, Watermelon, Swiss Chard, Potatoes, Kale (late April), Peas (late April), Carrots (late April), Radish (April), Lettuce, Onion, Cabbage, Parsley, Sunflowers, in window boxes-Spinach, Lettuce, Basil
Veggies back from last year
Strawberries, Spring Onions (split from neighbor), Chives, Oregano
Garden Lessons and What’s New
This is what I wrote in September last year of what I had learned and what I would do differently:
A few lessons and plans for next year:
- less kale, less green beans
- give the tomatoes more room, 6 plants to a bed instead of 8
- more carrots
- try asparagus, onions, brussel sprouts
- when cauliflower looks ready, cut it, it goes bad fast
Kale and Green Beans
A few notes on this. Yes, less kale, I still have a bag in my freezer from last year that we put in our Smoothies and I throw into Bolognese pasta sauce. But, not less green beans. Last year when we had so many green beans, I blanched some and froze them in pint size canning jars. I didn’t think it would amount to much, but all winter I cherished these easy side green beans that tasted almost garden fresh. So this year, I’m planting a bunch to enjoy all summer with plenty extra to stock the freezer for winter.
Last year we did 8 tomatoes in 1 bed. They didn’t seem to get enough air circulation and while we did get a ton of tomatoes, by the end of the season they got some black slime disease and many rotted instead of ripened. This year we are going to kind of space them out over several beds instead of all in one bed. Hopefully we’ll get plenty to make freezer marinara sauce!
More carrots, yes, because there is nothing like being 6 years old and pulling a carrot out of the ground and eating it with the dirt still on it so you don’t have to stop playing for a snack! We added some variety, one called dragon carrots, which are kind of a crazy purplish color. Extra carrots can go into my favorite Carrot Hummus.
Asparagus, not this year. I’d like to get this going but I don’t want it to take over an entire bed. Eventually we will either build a smaller bed dedicated to asparagus or find some other place for it. Brussel sprouts, the garden store was out. Onions, yes. I bought a “scoop” of tiny onions for $2.99 and I’m guessing they just grow into regular sized onions, 3 varieties, we’ll see.
Love the beautiful weather and despite the weirdness of staying home, social distancing, distance learning and grocery pickups, the garden remains my happiest place with my little helpers.