See how much a raised vegetable garden can change over the first few months of summer!
My raised bed vegetable garden continues to change on a daily basis. I've had to rip some plants out, transplant others, and I planted way too much zucchini and kale.
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VEGTABLE GARDEN CHANGES
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Below is the lengthy visual walk through of my vegetable garden. Almost everything was planted in raised beds this year with the exception of seven rows I have going in the ground.
I stand by my claim that I have no idea what I'm doing. I'll be writing up a summary at the end of the season trying to explain how I got so lucky and why my garden did extraordinarily well, despite me having little to know knowledge and experience. I'll also be summarizing what I actually did right and what I will do differently next year.
There are a ton of pictures... Thanks for taking a look!
Zucchini and Summer Squash
I started both the zucchini and summer squash in the green house from seed. The zucchini (seen below in the top picture) grew and transplanted well. The summer squash, well, not so much. I ended up planting three summer squash seeds directly in the raised bed and they grew from there.
This 4x8 raised bed contains three zucchini plants and three summer squash plants.
So. Much. Zucchini.
The zucchini will go in the ground next year.
Rhubarb and Strawberries
These are a few of the plants that I did not start from seed this year. I bought the rhubarb in a gallon container and the strawberries were transplants from my mom's yard.
Rhubarb is a perennial meaning it will keep coming back every year. I believe you can't harvest it the first year, but I should be able to starting next spring going forward. The leaves now look like they belong in the Jurassic Period.
The strawberries took very well to their new home, produced a handful of strawberries, and are currently in the process of trying to take over the entire bed. I need to learn to be quicker than the birds and the slugs or I will never enjoy these ruby red Pacific Northwest gems.
Sugar Snap Peas, Sugar Pod Peas, Carrots, Turnips, and Radishes
These were all planted from seed and are doing quite well.
The first to be ready were the radishes. I couldn't believe it. In like 3 weeks, they went from seed to salad! They all had to be harvested as they were getting woody and gross. I keep saying I need to plant a fresh batch but I'm swimming in other vegetables and haven't been craving my radishes as of late.
I got my peas in the ground late this year because I was waiting for the beds to be completed and the compost to be delivered. They produced amazingly delicious peas. We ate them all. I will plant twice as many next year. We (whenever I say we, I usually mean my husband and son) built a trellis out of PVC pipe, wood and wire.
I have about 4 different kinds of carrots growing. I've pulled a few for a salad. They were awesome. I'm an avid carrot peeler and didn't even need to peel them!
The turnips are growing well. I just need to figure out what to do with them. Pot roast, maybe? I'm thinking beef stew.
Leeks and Beets
Oh, how I do love me some beets. If you're familiar with my other blog, you'd know that I'm a fan. I'm thinking I need to get more seeds in the ground because this is simply not enough beets. There are never enough beets. I could have an entire vegetable garden dedicated to beets. I need to plant more because I know people want some, but I am unwilling to share.
The leeks were started from seed as well. No idea how long it will take for them to be ready. Hopefully it will be in the fall when I'm ready to make nothing but soups and stews.
Green Beans, Cucumbers, and more Peas
Ration and amounts will be interesting this year. I planted way too many cucumbers and not enough green beans. I'll make a ton of pickles and will force the kids and husband to eat the rest. Next year I will only be planting the cucumers along the edge of the bed because they hang over beautifully. The ones that I planted in the middle are just obnoxious.
More peas and green beans next year.
Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Celery and Celeriac
All of these veggies were started from seed in the greenhouse and then transplanted.
The Brussels sprouts are riduculously healthy. My friend told me she's never been able to grow them because the bugs get to them. So far, I have been lucky in this department. If you've never watched water dance off the leaves of a Brussels sprout plant, you must add it to your bucket list. Mezmerizing. There are little baby sprouts growing on the stalk.
I planted my broccoli way too close, so I eventually thinned it out and filled up any remaining space in the box. It is starting to crown and I realized that instead of transplanted my over crowded plants, I should have fed them to my goats. I'm gonna have a sh*t ton of broccoli.
I'm excited to see how the celery grows! I was told that I can cut the entire stalk at the bottom and a new one will grow. I'll let you know how that goes. It's getting crowded out by the broccoli.
Kale and Onions
So... I have a crapload of kale. I've been cutting it every day for my egg scramble and dinner salads, but it doesn't seem to make a dent. Anyone want any kale?
Next year I will plant half as much in half the amount of space. It's a super reliable crop, though.
My Walla Walla onions are doing okay (planted froms seed), but I planted red onions (twice) and they never sprouted. Bad seeds? Bad soil? Bad gardener? We'll never know. But it makes me sad knowing I'll have to buy red onions this year. I will be transferring those Walla Wallas to another bed soon because the kale is hogging all the real estate.
Purple Cabbage, Green Cabbage, and Potatoes
This just might be my favorite raised bed in my vegetable garden.
I've never grown potatoes before. I bought organic seed potatoes (3 different varieties), stuck them in the ground, and these plants shot up. I later learned that I could have planted them lower and once the plant started to grow, I could bury it and it would create another row of potatoes. Repeat. Repeat again. And keep on burying until you have more potatoes than you know what to do with.
I dug up some purple potatoes once a plant started flowering. They were small but oh-my-god they were amazing. I recently pulled some Yukon Golds and they were amazing. They taste nothing like store bought potatoes. The plant portion is starting to die off and I'll be leaving the remaining potatoes in the ground and use as needed.
And I just think purple cabbage is so darn beautiful. I have a massive head of green cabbage and a good sized head of purple cabbage that's gonna get harvested soon!
Spinach, Rainbow Chard, and more Onions
I had grown the largest spinach leaves I've ever seen in my life. We ate and ate and ate spinach until it went to seed and wasn't so tender and beautiful anymore. I pulled it all out with the intention of planting more but haven't gotten around to it.
The rainbow chard is gorgeous. I just need to figure out what to do with it. Any ideas other than saute?
My onions were crowded so I dug up and transplanted more evenly spaced in the same box.
Tomatoes and Peppers
I have two 4x8 beds full of tomatoes with 8 plants in each. I didn't include photos in my update last month because I hadn't yet transferred the tomatoes and peppers from the green house because the deer fence wasn't up yet.
Tomatoes and peppers were a vital part of my vegetable garden. They would all be dead right now if it weren't for my wise friend, Kendra. Any time I talk about gardening advice given from a friend, it most likely came from her. Turns out I didn't transplant them correctly.
I was worried I was going to just have giant plants and no fruit, but I'm happy to report I have a ton of green tomatoes appearing and fear I might *gasp* have way too many heirloom tomatoes. Is that even possible?
Seriously, the plants are so big and dense and healthy, I have no idea how I'm even going to find the tomatoes once they ripen!
Here's the first tomato bed:
And here's the second bed:
I don't think I'll get any peppers this year. My tomatillo plant took off though!
Corn, Pumpkins, Winter Squash, Melons, Artichokes, Asparagus, Sunflowers
Last, but not least, we have the rows in the ground.
We (again, I say we but I mean my husband) rototilled the earth using the tracker and the rototiller-thingy. We didn't cut or eliminate the grass before we tilled everything up, so grass and weeds will be a bit of a battle this year. I figure that I can pull them out when I need a mindless activity (believe me, I need them because my brain never shuts off). Then, the more we pull, the better the soil will be every year. We also mixed in some compost, but probably not as much as we should have.
Everything was planted from seed.
The ground was dry when we stuck the seeds in the ground and then I probably watered harder than I should have. That being said, I had a bunch of sunflowers growing in a place where all the water would puddle at the end. I just transplanted them into the rows. It'll be like unwrapping a present once they finally produce something!
The sunflowers are starting to open and I have a TON of baby pumpkins.
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