|The garden in early spring 2014|
This winter, after my dead tree and very-much-alive forsythia were chopped down, I had a blank slate. After years of debating, thinking, and not making a decision, I just drew a line in the dirt with a stick and voila! I had my layout.
|The garden in early summer 2015|
(For reference: The sidewalk and street are at the top of the photo above. Dr. Neighbor's driveway is to the right.)
When I was starting my seeds in early spring, I had visions of abundance. I'd donate to the local food pantry! I'd eat super local! I'd have fresh tomatoes all day, every day! My tomato seedlings were SO big (the cherry tomatoes in particular) that I planted them outside the last week of April. My grow lights simply couldn't accommodate them any more. While I was at it, I also planted my zucchini and butternut squash seedlings outside.
And then it rained for a week and a half. My cherry tomatoes survived but everything else disintegrated. I planted an emergency second set of tomatoes (Amish Paste and Bonnie Best) indoors.
I'd also direct sowed Swiss chard, spinach, kale, lettuce, and sugar snap peas according to the seed package timetable. The Swiss chard below is the only plant to emerge after three separate seed sowings.
I had a fairly decent showing of sugar snap peas. The spinach bolted too quickly. The arugula always does really well. The kale did not grow at all, though I found two random tiny plants this week that must have formed when some seeds flew out of my hand.
|(L-R) Arugula, zucchini, and eggplant|
One zucchini plant survived the deluge of rain and cold temperatures. I direct sowed some more and the first round produced nothing. The second round produced a number of plants so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
|Itty bitty zucchni|
The butternut squash seemed stunted for two months, but they just flowered and the vines are starting to grow.
|Butternut squash hiding behind asters and coreopsis.|
The bush beans I direct sowed are doing fantastically. I just harvested about a pound of beans and more are growing.
|Beans on the left of the path; basil and tomatoes straight ahead|
And the emergency planting of tomatoes? Everything is growing and growing well. Some are just starting to flower, so I'm hopeful that I'll have the fresh tomatoes I dream about all winter.
Next year, I'll start my seedlings inside a few weeks later than usual so that I can plant them outside around May 15 when I'm supposed to. I'm still not sure why my direct-sowed greens didn't grow. Is it my (clay) soil? Did I plant them at the wrong depth? Did I skimp on the water? I'll try again in the fall and see if I have any better results.
While I don't have quite the abundance I was hoping for, it's a good start with the new layout. I really enjoy my daily walking tour through the Pharm, especially when it means I get to pluck and eat a fresh bean or leaf of arugula!