May 26, 2010

Green Gardens

The raised beds are finally completely planted.  Now, it's just maintenance and harvest.    Bed #1 contains two short rows of string beans (not primal in some camps, but I have no problem with eating them once in a while).  There are a few bug bites already, but the beans will produce and be picked several times before too much damage is done.  When they are done, they will be replaced by some beets and/or radishes. I do not use pesticides in my garden.
The rest of this bed contains two eggplants, parsley, bronze fennel, cilantro, thyme, and some volunteer dill from last year.  The beds are edged with parking bumpers which are cheap and very durable and non-toxic.  The soil is from composted chicken and horse manure dressed with vegetable scraps from the kitchen.  I also lace it with peat moss which helps to hold in moisture through those hot dry days.
Bed #2 contains six heirloom tomato plants (from Landreth seeds).  I am fortunate to live within 6 miles of their seed warehouse and they have an annual heirloom plant and seed sale.  I picked up a couple of flats of plants, herbs, and a few seed packets last weekend.  This bed also contains four pepper plants - two hot, two sweet.  The nightshades seem to do well together.  I plant the peppers on the west side of the bed, so that their smaller height won't block sun from the tomatoes.  I'll stake the tomatoes as they grow, though I have one cute little iron cage that my neighbor's son welded last year.  I guess he got tired after doing one, since he hasn't made any more for me to buy.
Bed #3 contains snow peas (all pod, no peas), turnips, and onions.  The owl and webbing are attempts to keep the chickens from scratching the young plants away in search of bugs.  They work fairly well (at least the webbing does) and once the plants grow a bit, the chickens leave them alone.  

Bed #4 contains hollyhocks in the back (purely decorative), some lavender, and several rows of mixed lettuces.  I will cut and pick them for a good while.  Black-seeded Simpson lettuce will grow well into the summer without bolting. There are a few fingerling potatoes planted in the corner as well. The lettuce will grow quickly and be harvested and pulled in time to allow the potatoes to grow and a late fall crop of lettuce to be planted. The potatoes will be covered with straw as they grow.
Bed #5 was just planted last weekend.  It contains several types of squash (pattypan, zucchini, summer yellow,  There are also some cucumbers in there.  You can get a surprisingly large number of plants in these beds and the advantage of concentrating the planting is that once the plants are mature, they shade out any weeds.  The raised beds allow the soil to stay soft and workable.  Never step in the beds and weeds will pull out easily!
And, finally, a shot of "lion" Woody, stalking prey through the jungle (asparagus patch).


  1. Sorry, I ported over here from Robb Wolf to ask you a question and don't see how to send you an email Please contact me. Thanks

  2. HI Allan,
    You can contact me at lbdonaldson "at"