Sunday, June 29, 2014

Garden update

I planted a very small garden this year. I'm trying out different configurations / locations before putting in a more permanent raised bed system next year.

The small landscape timber bed has nasturtium, basil, lettuce, cherry tomato, and lemon thyme. It gets great morning sun and good early afternoon sun before the house creates a shadow in early evening. We put in pond soil to start the bed. The nasturtiums are kind of puny, but that seems to be the case of all my nasturtiums this year, so I don't think it's location related. The lettuce never really came in. The basil is great. So much so that I transplanted some plants from another location to perk them up. The cherry tomato is doing wonderfully (lots of blossom clusters and fruit has set), as is the lemon thyme (which tastes great by the way). I also have two yellow wax bean plants in this bed and they are flowering and look very healthy.

Overview - fire pit is further away than it seems.
Sad nasturtiums, great lemon thyme, happy bean plant
Another bean, itty-bitty lettuce, and the transplanted basil
Original dark green basil, cherry tomato, and BBQ rosemary
At either end of that bed I have a few small planter boxes with herbs, some from seedling, some from seed. The basil in these beds isn't doing that well and I think it's a soil issue since they get the same sun as the landscape timber bed. Garlic chives and oregano are doing well (from seedlings) and the parsley, cilantro, and basil seeds have germinated and are slowly forming plants.

This basil just isn't doing as well

Pulled out the basil, transplanted cilantro, germinated seeds (basil, parsley, cilantro)
The flower beds in back are struggling. It's sandy soil and I did very little to amend it. Need to put some time and effort into actually forming beds rather than just sticking starts in the ground.
Just sad...
The 7 x 3 raised bed has pond soil in it and is doing well. Six Big Beef tomato plants (from seedlings) are full of blossoms and some fruit has formed. The herbs (basil, garlic chive, and oregano) are also growing well. It gets morning shade and great afternoon sun. I think the plants might prefer more sun though so will move the bed further west to get it out of the shadows. I definitely need to add compost to this bed in the fall to enrich it for next year.
Both beds doing well
Lots of blossoms and some fruit on the Big Beef

The squash bed is also pond soil. Cucumbers are looking good. Zucchini plants actually have flowers already. Acorn and butternut squash plants are healthy but no blooms yet. The yellow wax beans are kind of slow. Since they were planted at the same time as the ones in the landscape timber bed, there is obviously some issue with this bed. Not sure if it's soil properties (shouldn't be - they have the same soil) or the fact that this bed gets little morning sun. Again, moving it further west will help.
My first zucchini blossom!

Many more forming

Beans are blossoming, but don't look that good
The pea bed gets little or no morning sun and great afternoon/evening sun. The bed is cooler than the others and they seem to like it. I planted the pea seeds very late so not sure if I'll get a crop before the summer heat makes them bolt. I'll try again for a fall crop.
I may end up just eating the shoots
At this point I'm thinking of putting three landscape timber beds parallel to the house's east wall in approximately the same location as the current LTB (maybe just a bit further to the south though to catch more afternoon sun). A squash bed to the south of those beds would get early and late sun and have plenty of room to run.  Field stones for the patio. A sand area for the fire pit. Flower beds around the perimeter of the stone patio to provide a visual break before the woods.

I imagine I'll change my mind multiple times before next summer, but this is the plan for now.

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