The last few weekends have been nice enough that we were able to get outside and get the garden into shape for spring planting and the summer season. We started with removing all of the plants we had overwintered, except for the garlic. The winter greens were done and some of them had started bolting. I do consider our winter garden a success in that we had more than enough greens all winter long. I was especially pleased with the mache and will continue to grow it.
Once we had cleaned out the beds, we added a few inches of compost to each one. We went ahead and sowed some arugula, radish and carrot seeds as well and transplanted some lettuce, chard and rapini the first weekend in March.
I am going to have to revise my plans for the beds a bit- mainly just in the quantities of particular varieties and the locations. We will also likely be buying pepper transplants again this year. We had an aphid problem in the grow room and I don’t think our pepper plants are going to make it.
This photo shows the garden as viewed from the southwest corner. We will be planting On Deck Hybrid Sweet Corn from Burpee Seeds in the grow bags in the foreground. It is essentially a dwarf variety of corn that has been bred to grow in containers. You can fit up to 9 plants in a 24″ container. The stalks should grow to 4 to 5 feet tall, and can produce a couple of ears each. You can also see some of the concrete mixing pans we bought. They are about 9″ deep and are about 36″ x 24″. They seem to be perfect for shallow-rooted plants like lettuce and we are also going to try bush beans in a couple. We planted mache, lettuce, spinach, beets and chard in 4 of them.
This is the view from the northwest corner of the garden.
We have to do a little work to resurrect the drip irrigation system we put in last spring.
Looking back from the southeast corner. The two beds with the Agribon fabric have the seeds and transplants we set out in early March. The probably did not need too much protection from the cold, but I put the fabric on to help protect them from some heavy rains that we have had. I think we will have patty pan squash in the 3 grow bags in the foreground. That’s a big pot of bee balm in the center there.
This is the straw bale garden. It is our big experiment for this season as we have never tried it before. We will be growing zucchini and winter squashes in this area and I think that I will reserve the back row for Greek gigantes beans. We are in the middle of conditioning the bales now. The straw wasn’t as seed-free as I had hoped but we will just pull out that growth when it is time to start planting. We made the supports from 8 ft. t-poles and 4 ft. by 8 ft. cow panels. We used these same panels last year for the same purpose, but we had them oriented vertically rather than horizontally.