Tuesday, April 12, 2016

2016 Vegetable Garden

Vegetable Garden 2016: April

Vegetable Garden 2016: April

Neither of us want to spend much time tending to vegetables during the hot summer months, so I thought we would keep the (ever-so-slightly) raised vegetable beds simple, this year.  However, now that I look at what I've planted, I'm not sure it's much simpler than in years past-- not that it's ever been a particularly "advanced" or large vegetable garden.

This year, we're forgoing all peppers.  They were probably our most successful plants from last year's garden, because apparently anyone can grow peppers, but we just don't eat that many of them, and I have quite a few (bell peppers and jalapeƱos) in the freezer, from last year's harvest.  Maybe by next summer we'll be ready to grow peppers again.

The front bed (by which I mean the southernmost raised bed behind the garage) is devoted to tomatoes (with one 'Early Girl' relegated to the middle bed, because there wasn't enough room for them all in the front).  

We have six of 'Early Girl' (because they came in a six-pack), which is a variety we grew last year.  The last two years, we had success with 'Sweet 100', but this year we're trying two of 'Super Sweet 100'-- partly because I've read good things about that variety, but also because that's what they had at the store.  And finally, we planted one 'Grape (Tami G)' tomato, just for a change of pace.  

On Saturday, we built a simple wood and wire trellis in the back bed, then planted three hills of squash seed underneath it.  (You can't really see the wire in the photo, but several runs of wire stretch horizontally between and through all four posts.)  This year, we're trying tromboncino squash, a.k.a. trombone squash or zucchini rampicante.  They're supposedly more resistant to squash vine borers, but of course there are some naysayers, too.  You can use them as either a summer or a winter squash; we're planning to harvest them when they're young, green, and tender.

After the tomatoes and tromboncino squash-- the only two things I was sure I wanted to grow, this year-- were in place, I took out our box of vegetable seeds to see what we had left over from last year.  Some of these were seeds we bought the year before (or even earlier), and so I'm not sure how much luck we'll have with germination.  However, we had one bed almost completely empty, plus some room in front of the trombone squash, so why not give it a try?

I ended up sowing seeds for okra, yellow crookneck squash, zucchini, Swiss chard, red and white radishes, and some looseleaf lettuce.  Then I scattered some marigold seeds, just for the fun of it.  Now it's just a matter of waiting and keeping the soil reasonably watered.  If I have terrible luck, I might just sow some colorful annuals in that middle bed, later this year.  That was originally my plan-- to make a cutting garden (which I might or might not actually cut) of annuals in one of the beds.  Now I have to find some other place to grow those flowers...