Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Garden 2012

This is the third year of our front yard vegetable garden. We have definitely learned a lot about growing vegetables. Such as soil and nutrient requirements, using compost and controlling pests (squirrel's who boldly steal heirloom tomatoes!) and maximizing food production in two raised beds. And the added component of  growing food in the front yard where you inevitably engage with your neighbors, children, dogs and friends while out tending to the growing things. Being involved with the Eric Waller Community Vegetable Garden definitely helped obtain working knowledge and skills as well as becoming UME Master Gardeners (we are still in the "Intern" stage). But as Shane and I worked in the yard this past weekend, establishing our very new perennial beds; we agreed that the best way to learn is by doing and asking a lot of questions!
The first year we installed our raised beds we had a few raised eyebrows; folks thought that food gardens should be relegated to the backyard, that they are "unsightly". Well I think we dispelled that "rule" because from my front window, every morning, I can observe walkers slow down in front of our garden to take in its beauty; and frankly I'm pretty darn proud of that.

What I have planted now:
French Breakfast Radishes
Little Marvel Peas
Bloomsdale Spinach
Rainbow Chard
Lacinato Kale
Onions (from last fall)
Leeks (just harvested!)
Red Cabbage
Detroit Red Beets
Chioggia Beets (red and white stripes!)

What we planted last year that is part of our edible landscape:
Blueberry bushes (Highbush and Jersey)
Pear Tree

Chives (I planted three years ago by seed)
Fennel (a perennial that will return as well)
Chamomile (also a re-seeding perennial)
Dill (that I seeded last year and grew one tiny measly plant and this year BANG! I have 10 healthy plants)
Nasturtiums (edible flower and tasty greens)

Coming up: Soon the radishes and spinach will be done and this weekend I will thin my kale plants and move them and the chard to the front bed along the sidewalk to make room for the tomatoes. I will let the beets, cabbages and broccoli finish out their cycle and plant in Black Zucchini (that I've started from seed) and Bush Beans (also from seed). This year we will grow the pickling cucumbers on a inverted V trellis. When my zinnias and marigolds are ready they will go into the flower pots and perennial beds.
So much to-do but so much fun! This growing season is off to a very good beginning.

Vegetable Gardening Timing Tip: this weekend plant your green beans by seed and your tomato plants!