What We're Growing This Year Our Complete Garden Plans


Gatden B: Pole Beans May Week 3
We've been behind this year, despite our beautiful weather.  Hey life happens huh?  Luckily we've been doing this long enough that I know as long as you have everything planted by the first week in June your fine.  These pictures were taken the last week of May.  I've been so busy that I haven't had time to post.  I will post pictures of our garden currently soon, our garden has grown a lot since these pictures.

 I still need to  make runs to the store for tomato cages (we can only fit so many in our car we still need over 20 more), build cedar wood trellises, build another cedar box, weed and mulch our garden.  What do you still have to do in your garden?  
Garden A: WI 55 tomatoes and Violet Queen Broccoli May W3
Violet Queen Broccoli image source
Now that our garden plans are finalized (they always change after you start planting), I thought I'd share what we planted and where.  We ended up doing all direct seed or transplants.  Ironically last season one of my main goals was to get better at growing or own seedlings.  I became interested in learning how nurseries grow their seedlings, but as spring came I had to much going on to focus on any of that, so next year hopefully I'll be able to tackle that mystery.  I did try a new trick with direct seeding that seemed to work.  I soaked the large seeds (peas, beans, melons, cucumber, etc) before planting for 24 hrs to kick start the germination.

If you look at the varieties we planted you can tell I had a thing for purple plants.  I think they'll make the garden look so pretty and love the ideal of having a dinner party and serving unusual veggies (too bad the purple beans change to green when you cook them that would be fun).  We would have done more fun veggies, but we need to use up seeds we already have in our huge seed stash.  What are you planting this year anything new or fun?  

Front Yard

Garden A:
  • We have planted 27 tomato plants (Roma, big boy, and WI 55).  Our cherry tomatoes we planted are starting to grow.  I will need to thin them out or transplant them soon (along with ALOT of helpers in our concrete bed, I seriously don't know yet what I'll do with those there are alot).
  •  We planted 8 Violet Queen broccoli plants (see above photo) what we planted from seed didn't grow so we bought transplants.  We also planted 4 violet broccoli plants in our front garden bed.
  • 5 Brussel sprouts plants (1 in the front garden bed too)
  • Asparagus (that's ferned now) 3 or 4 years old now, we had our first crop this year!  Harvesting stopped in the end of May.
  • cilantro every where even in the cracks of the brick paths (helpers from last year)  they've been bolting since May
  • 3 Kale plants (from last year) it's bolting right now and crowding out our tomato plants so I had to cut it back.  I've learned kale needs 1-2 sq ft and plant herbs and veggies that can take some shade by them.
  • Our carrots didn't grow (we'll maybe 2 or 3 but not much), 2nd time seems to be the charm.  I planted some more a week ago and can tell some have sprouted.  I initially tried red dragon, but since they didn't grow I needed to buy seeds late so I had to buy what I could find.  No fun colors this year.  Now I know for next year to start early so if they don't sprout I can still find fun seeds or buy extra just in case.  We had all kinds of fun colors last year which was really cool.  We did a multi colored heirloom seed pack last year, you can see pictures of our harvest here.  
Roma Tomato
Beets
WI55 Tomato

Carrots and Rutabaga
in this whole square

Roma Tomato
Kale
WI 55 Tomato

Big Boy
Tomato
Broccoli
WI 55 Tomato
Roma Tomato
Kale
WI 55 Tomato

Big Boy
Tomato
Broccoli
WI 55 Tomato
Cherry Tomato
Asparagus
WI 55 Tomato

Big Boy
Tomato
Broccoli
Big Boy
Tomato
Cherry Tomato
Cilantro and rutabaga
Cilantro

Big Boy
Tomato
Broccoli
Big Boy
Tomato







Cherry Tomato
Brussel Sprouts
Carrots and turnips WSq

Cilantro
Carrots and Rutabaga WSq

Cherry Tomato
Brussel Sprouts
WI 55 Tomato

WI 55 Tomato
 Broccoli
WI 55 Tomato
Cherry Tomato
Brussel Sprouts
WI 55 Tomato

WI 55 Tomato
 Broccoli
WI 55 Tomato
Cherry Tomato
Brussel Sprouts
WI 55 Tomato

WI 55 Tomato
 Broccoli
WI 55 Tomato
Cherry Tomato
Brussel Sprouts
WI 55 Tomato

WI 55 Tomato
 Broccoli
 WI 55 Tomato

House

Notes:
*We discovered last year that tomatoes and broccoli need a little more room than one per sq foot.  We found that 4 per row (5 sq ft) work well for our garden, so the empty spaces in the broccoli and tomatoes are not really empty.
* W Sq means we interplanted for the whole square
Garden B: Bell Peppers and Cucumbers May W3
Garden B: 
  • 7 Bell pepper plants (I wanted 8 but my direct seeded ones didn't grow)
  • 1 Jalapeno plant (I wanted 4 plants but my direct seeds did not grow)
  • 15 sq ft of sugar snap peas (only half germinated I think due to the fact they're old seeds, so I replanted 1/2 a few weeks later)
  • 10 sq ft of pole beans 1/2 purple pole beans, 1/2 green pole beans
  • radishes
  • beets
  • rutabaga
  • Turnips
  • spinach (helper from last year)
  • cucumbers (seem to be doing well so far I'm crossing my fingers.  Our first year of gardening the only thing that grew was cucumbers and broccoli from seed.  We had a ton of cucumbers and I started juicing them because I didn't know what else to do with them.  I grew to love the drink I made and was looking forward the next year to having it only to have no cucumbers really make it, and last year was no exception.  I even bought transplants after my direct seeds failed!)
  • purple basil 
Green and Purple Basil,  Image from: Thyme For Food
purple pole beans were growing from Seed Saver's Exchange


Beets
(need to still plant)
Purple Basil
Cucumber

Green Beans
Carrots
And Radishes
Green Beans
Free Space Tomato?
Beets (need to still plant)
Cucumber

Green Beans
Carrots
And Radishes
Green Beans
Free Space Tomato?
Jalapeno Pepper
Cucumber

Green Beans
Carrots
And Radishes
Green Beans
Bell Pepper
Bell Pepper
Cucumber

Green Beans
Carrots
And Radishes
Green Beans
Bell Pepper
Bell Pepper
Cucumber

Green Beans
Carrots
And Radishes
Green Beans







Free Space Tomato?
Celery (didn’t  grow)
Helper tomato and peas

Sugar snap peas
turnips
Sugar snap peas
spinach (helper, dying?)
Celery (didn’t  grow)
Sugar snap peas

Sugar snap peas
turnips
Sugar snap peas
Bell Pepper
fennel (didn’t  grow)
Sugar snap peas

Sugar snap peas
Turnips
Sugar snap peas
Bell Pepper
fennel (didn’t  grow)
Sugar snap peas

Sugar snap peas
Beets
Sugar snap peas
Bell Pepper
rutabaga
Sugar snap peas

Sugar snap peas
Beets
Sugar snap peas

House

Front Bed
Front Bed: catnip and chives May W2 (you can't see it bit there's a bush hiding behind the catnip!)
Container Garden
Our stevia plant that survived from last year
  • Stevia our plant from last year died and gave birth.  I thought our plant was dead and left the container outside this spring to replant in the container.  I never did and noticed a plant growing, since it was outside I assumed it was a weed, but I thought what if it was Stevia?  You never know I thought so I let it grow until I could tell what it was and what do ya know it was!  Yea!  I hope the same thing happens next year.
  • Mint, Lemon balm, lettuce, basil, cilantro all planted a week ago.  I'm keeping them indoors until they start to grow so that squirrels don't dig in our pots before the plants are established.  Last year I had just planted all my containers only to see that squirrels had dug them all up! I know better now.
Back Yard

New Garden Bed
We have been doing all our garden expansions in the backyard this year.  We tore up our only sunny part of our lawn (removed the sod that was there) in our shady backyard to create a new garden bed with a brick mow row.  We increased our gardening space by about 15-20 sq ft.  I just finished it about a week ago and planted pumpkins, spaghetti squash, zucchini, early yellow squash, more lettuce, cabbage, 1 brussel sprout plant, cucumbers, and a mystery plant (it came attached to a seedling I bought at the farmer's market I'm thinking it's a cabbage).  Some of our pumpkins and zucchinis are starting to grow.  I wasn't sure if they would because I could tell squirrels had found the seeds.  It will be interesting to see if there will be enough sun to grow warm weathered full sun veggies here, since it is the sunniest spot in our back yard but is still shaded to some degree.  I plan to try to trim our tree nearby to help ensure they grow on the next cool day that I'm bored (which probably won't be for awhile!) .  I figure it's worth a shot to try since we have a fence there already it already has a built in trellis so that would be the perfect spot if it gets enough sun. 
Our new garden bed
Side Bed
In our side garden bed we have rhubarb, onions, asparagus, and we still have about 1 sq ft open, which I will probably transplant some tomato plants into (along with containers) since we have a lot of tomato helpers.  I planted leeks but I don't think they are growing.  I've already harvested some rhubarb.

Concrete Raised Bed
Our mustard seedlings and new strawberry transplants June W1
Our Compost Helpers
I wrote about our new concrete raised bed here a few weeks ago.  We used most of our compost pile (finished and not finished compost) to fill the bed along with 12 bags of compost from the store.  Since not all of the compost was finished we had some helpers.  Some were wanted some not wanted.  The ones that were wanted were lots of tomato plants, which are cool but where will I put them all?  I haven't even counted them all.  That's how many there are.  I doubt they'd all be OK in the concrete bed, would I have room in our new garden bed?  I do have room for 1 or 2 on our side bed, since we have sq ft that's all weeds and I've been to lazy to deal with (yea my laziness pays off).  Maybe large containers?  Tune in this month to find out. 
Concrete Bed: Brussel Sprout Seedlings and strawberries June W1
Long Term Plans for Our Concrete Bed
Since our concrete bed is near our two maple trees, this bed will get bombarded with maple seeds, I'm already constantly pulling out tree seedlings.  I can see this will become a pain in the but.  My solution?  Plant strawberries, and leafy veggies that grow like weeds and let them take over.  Judging by how our strawberries took over every square inch last year and self mulched I can only assume that next spring I should have a huge strawberry harvest without much effort (not even much weeding) with the possibility of mustard and arugula too.
Concrete Bed: spinach seedlings and strawberries June W1
Concrete Bed: Kale seedlings June W1
What we Planted this Year in our Concrete Bed
  • Mustard it's growing like a weed.  This is our first year growing, I believe it to be like arugula easy to grow, aggressive self seeder, and most likely to be frost tolerant. 
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Brussel Sprouts My husband mentioned doubts about whether there would be enough space for the roots of brussel sprouts (of course he mentions this after I planted already)I honestly hadn't thought about it.  There is most likely 1-2 ft of "dirt" (see post on making our concrete bed).  Is it enough?  We'll find out I guess.  We have some in our front garden, so if they don't grow no big deal.
  • Tomatoes too many helpers to count! 
Containers
Our potatoes are doing well in our build as you go bin.  June W1

We also have potatoes in a potato bin I built.  They're already bigger than they got all last year!  I even have to buy more compost and boards to build up.
Our wooden container Left to right: cabbage, romaine, red leaf lettuce, and Bok choy June week 1

I  also built a cedar box last year and plan to make another one this year.  In the one we made last year we have cabbage, red lettuce, arugula, romaine lettuce, cabbage, and bok choy. I should have thinned them out, but didn't.  I am waiting to see if I can transplant some elsewhere in our garden where we have empty spots.

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