I love having a vegetable garden because every year I get a vegetable garden do-over.
I have had years of great vegetable garden success and other years, like last year, where there are only a handful of seeds or plants that thrived and produced to the degree I was dreaming of back in the spring. Here is what was waiting for me back in March. My overwintered carrots and a whole bunch of ‘weeds’ from a flower with sweet little pink flowers that self-seeded half of my garden when I wasn’t looking. The carrots were never sweet regardless what stage I picked them last year so I just gave up on them. I don’t even know what to say about this one. I’m trying not to be too disturbed by it.As much as I don’t enjoy weeding, I love that it will become a blank canvas again. One of my favorite parts is planning the whole thing out.I weeded and prepped sections at a time instead of the whole garden all at once this year. I am going to plant peas and flowers along the trellises; lettuce and cucumbers in the front raised bed; and beets, carrots & Swiss chard in the second raised bed.
While I was weeding my lettuce/cucumber bed and I found the strangest little things. I filled the raised beds with garden mulch from a bark dust & mulch company a couple of years ago so I am claiming complete innocence in this matter. I thought it was pretty hilarious that the tiny little figure is doing exactly what the ‘FreeStyle’ label suggests.
Here are the seeds I planted along the trellis on March 27th. I was earlier this year than I have ever been. I usually am lucky if I get anything planted before the end of May and have planted as late as mid-June before. I am an overachiever this year.
The section of flowers ‘Grandma’s Cut Flower Garden’ in front of the peas should be fun. I wanted something there so it wouldn’t be so bare come late July when the peas are all drying up. At the moment I just can’t tell which things are weeds and which are flowers, so I’m having to just let everything grow. There are some suspects that I’m keeping my eye on though.Beets, Swiss chard & carrots for the second raised bed.Cute little beet sprout. I’m hoping to have better luck with the beets this year. I am trying a couple varieties to see if I can get larger beets. They stayed pretty small last year which isn’t ideal since Boyd like to juice them. I think some of the larger ones were only the size of a golf ball.
I need to cover them now though to try to protecting the leaves from this annoying leaf-mining larva that infests my Swiss Chard every year and got my beet leaves last year too. Those leaves are M I N E to eat not yours to mine! Crawl away from the chard little larva. There’s a new sheriff in town. OK. So there isn’t really a new sheriff, but I mean business.
The lemon thyme is doing great. I use scissors to trim it back from the bricks. It makes a pretty good weed block and smells great crushed between my fingers. The asparagus did pretty good this year. I finally harvested some of it. Even some of the taller stalks were still tender at the tips.I purchased another bale of straw to mulch with. I use it around my asparagus, berries and in the pumpkin patch. I like how charming it looks and that it really helps keep down the weeds.
As you can see I have a temporary cover on my beet/chard bed, but I need to figure out something I can easily pull back to water. I laid an unused tomato cage on each of my raised beds to try to discourage the neighborhood cats from thinking I just cleaned out great big litter boxes for them to enjoy.
I added a few more garden steps, but I need to bury the bricks in the bark dust some because the hose keeps getting caught and I end up dragging bricks down the path.
I planted seeds of a number of different annual flowers this year too that are supposed to be good for drying. We’ll see how that goes. Some of the seeds wanted to be in the ground a month or so earlier than I planted them, but that never stops me. If I had to do everything perfectly, I wouldn’t end up doing anything at all and that would be sad — so I forge ahead and just wait and water and see what comes.
Despite the continual list of things I’d love to still do in my garden, everything is fresh and new and weed-free and I am once again filled with the hope that comes with my annual vegetable garden do-over.