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: 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: 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

A few notes on this…yes less kale, I still have a bag in my freezer from last year, 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 summer 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.

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.

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.

In the Garden Year 2 – May
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