I learned a lot from last year’s highly ambitious garden. Namely that I ought to work within the existing raised beds we have because tilling up fresh ground was a colossal waste of time.
When you look at this picture (taken yesterday) there’s not a trace of evidence that there was a huge patch of tilled ground in between the two beds. The grass has completely taken back over.
But it’s all good. I also realized last year that I let a lot of space in the large raised bed go to waste. It’s probably in my best interest to pack the bed with as many veggies as possible,
So what have we got in the big bed this year?
- 4 tomato plants (Cherokee Purple, Roma, Mr. Stripey, and Sweet 100)
- 4 pepper plants (2 sweet and 2 hot)
- 1 eggplant (Black Beauty)
- 1 mound planted w/ zucchini seeds
- 1 mound planted w/ cucumber seeds
- 1 mound planted w/ yellow summer squash seeds
- Scattered okra seeds along the edges and in the gaps
I originally started with purchased seedlings for the zucchini, squash, and cucumbers, but those little bastard rabbits got in there and ate them down to almost nothing. So I bought a few seed packets, planted ’em yesterday, and hoping for the best.
As you can see, there are already a hell of a lot of weeds. Once the squash and cucumbers take off, their big leaves should cover a lot of ground and keep the weeds down on this side of the bed.
For around the tomatoes and peppers I’m trying out the landscaping cloth for the first time. Turns out one roll doesn’t go that far. It’s supposed to be compost-able so that you can till it back into the soil next year. I’m still real skeptical, though. I think the weeds are just going to bust right through it before long. They’re already trying to.
We have another existing bed back here, but this one is long and narrow, and the wood is pretty much fallen apart. Nonetheless, I planted it with corn and green bean seeds that are just starting to come up.
I also have a few containers planted up on the corner of the deck. This is where I grow my summer basil stockpile, as well as some parsley and cilantro.
I also decided to plant one more tomato up here in the big half barrel planter. It’s the Bonnie “Patio” hybrid, and it’s received the honor of bearing the first fruit of the year.
Here’s hoping for another delicious produce season in our backyard.