Sunday, May 12, 2013

Vegetable Garden

It looks like spring is here to stay, with summer ready to make its appearance, maybe this week.  This is the kind of season that my gamble gardens are for.  I planted the first lettuce, spinach, and radishes in January this year.  I was glad I did, because of all the rain and snow we had, making it difficult to get into the garden.

I planted onions in the area next to the kale, which is getting ready to bloom.

I have been thinning the lettuce and spinach for a couple weeks.  I enjoy making salads with the thinnings.  I also picked my first radishes today.  The brighter green lettuce plants in the upper right were actually planted at the end of the season last year.  They did not get big enough to pick.  I was amazed that they survived winter, and are now growing!  I think I'll plant different kinds of lettuce this fall, and see how well they do.  Today, I planted a row of beets between some of the lettuces.  The feathery green plants in the right corner are larkspur seedlings, which pop up all over the garden every spring.  I let some of them grow.  There are also bachelor buttons in the area.  Larry's mom grew them, and they remind me of her, so I let some grow, too.

I planted peas in the area where the cage are.  They didn't all come up, but there are enough up that we'll get some peas to enjoy.  I  have red onions planted between the lettuce and the sage.

This pea plant will have lots of room to grow, since not all of the peas came up.  I wonder if they did, though, and a rabbit ate them down.  One discovered a way to get in, which is the entrance where I get in.  I have been blocking it with a number of things that are quite junky looking, but seem to be working until we come up with more wire or something to attach to the wire that was cut too low.

I can't remember whether this patch was planted in January, or after I was able to get in this spring.

I did not plant this sage here.  I think I plan to cut it way back, because it is too close to the little asparagus patch, which is on its third season.  I have been picking a little, but will stop soon to let it grow for next year's crop.  There are more larkspur by the fence, and I noticed the moonflowers were up today.  My mother-in-law grew those, too.  I just let one grow last year.

Do you know what the weed is in the background?  They come from our neighbors' yard, and I pull them out all summer.

Aren't these little cuties?  I don't remember what kind of lettuce they are.

Larry's mom also grew garlic, and all of the garlic in the garden are from what was already there.  It took me a few years to pay attention to when it should be harvested and planted again.  I planted pole beans by the compost fence today, and one spot with cucumbers.

I got this kale plant from the Community Crops plant sale.  I need to look at the tag again.  I think it said, "blue Scotch" or something like that.

The kale in the lower part of this photo is from the one I've had for awhile.  I decided not to let this one bloom, and have been eating it.  I added some to the soup I made today. 

I like to plant a few weeks apart to extend the harvest.  I also like a variety of lettuces and other greens.  This is a more recently planted area.

I see this hollyhock got quite large.  Some years I let them grow, some, I don't.  The rhubarb in the back looks like it will be ready to pick soon.  I am always deep into gardening when it is ready, and don't always take the time to cook with it.  I wonder if I have too much garlic planted.

I need to be stirring up the compost piles.  I have three sections so I can turn it over, but we had a large harvest of leaves last year.

Here's a look back to the east.

Here's a messy part of the garden, next to the garage.

I bought this cold frame this spring from someone in a Facebook group I was in, but have not figured out how to use it properly.  I decided to plant a couple tomato plants in it, but left the lid open, since we are supposed to have highs in the 80s and more this week.  We probably will need to move it soon.  I planted some cucumbers by the fence today.

I am having great fun going out each day to see what all is coming up, and how much things are growing in the flower beds.  I think about all that's left are the morning glories, which we plan on pulling out.  I would like to let one or two grow, but we'll see if that happens.  I moved the two clematis vines that were growing in the front across the sidewalk from each other because I didn't want to replace the arbor that broke in the wind last year.

I hope all is well with you and your gardens.


  1. I think that's amazing with the lettuce surviving the winter. I've heard of spinach doing that. I might try that as well.
    Everything looks to be growing well.
    Happy Spring!

  2. Hi Sue....your vege garden sure is looking good! There's nothing like the taste of home-grown veges! I made the mistage of planting some morning glories a few years ago and now I get hundreds of them coming up every year. I'm not even sure how they do it because I keep pulling them out when they're little. Oh well, another gardening mystery! Can't wait to see more!

  3. Hi Sue,
    Your yard looks great. I'm looking forward to your summer pics.
    I'm enjoying garden strolls as well. I'm sure our neighbors must wonder why we look so often.....what difference does it make? Gotta love the garden to get a kick out of seeing everything grow from day to day.
    It's amazing to me that you plant in January! It's unheard of here.....actually, we are told to wait until after Memorial Day to put anything in the ground.
    Your veggies look great. I think I have asparagus envy:)

  4. Your veggies are growing nicely! I also had some lettuce overwinter this year, which is even more amazing since I'm in Wisconsin. It was not covered or anything, just under snow. Who knew lettuce could be so hardy. I'm really jealous of that awesome cold frame! What a find.

  5. That is a good sized vegetable garden. You should get lots of produce from it. As for the garlic, you can never have enough of it. I am surprised you are harvesting the kale already -lucky you.

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  8. Sue, I think we should try planting a few hills of potatoes in the fall too....I have ones I have missed digging come up here and there. I am surprised the lettuce survived though. The snow cover surely helped.

    You have lots of things growing; many more than I have. I am moving slow this spring.

    I bet you could keep spinach and lettuces going the the cold frame most of winter.

  9. Hi Sue, The "gamble" garden was a great idea! Awesome that you are already eating lettuce and kale. It's wonderful that some lettuce wintered over too. I'm going to have to try that next year. Regarding the compost, we get a lot of leaves as well. I don't put them all in the compost right away. I bag some and save them for summer, when we have mainly nitrogen sources for the garden and can use some added carbon sources. I also use paper from my shredder as a carbon source. Also, if you want to get your compost heating up and decomposing quickly, you can add grass clippings and stir them in. I have a book called Weeds of the Great Plains which can ID about any weed you or I would see. However, I couldn't see your weed well enough to ID it. They say the vision is the first sign of aging! lol
    Enjoyed seeing your veg. garden today, Sue. Looks great!

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  11. Wow, your veggie garden is looking great! Fresh Lettuce out your back door--how nice! And you have Asparagus, too! I will only have Onions, Tomatoes, and Cucumbers (and lots of flowers) in my small patch of sun. But we have a CSA share, so that will help with the veggie supplies. My Hollyhocks were frozen out sometime this winter and I don't think I'll have any this year, for the first time in many years. :( Yours look very healthy!

  12. You have a really good sized vegetable garden, and your produce so far looks great. I love your new coldframe, I'm sure you'll be able to overwinter many vegetables in it, and it looks like the perfect place for the tomatoes you've planted.

  13. Great garden! I just planted mine this past weekend, but since I'm pretty busy I've decided to go with mostly vine crops this year.

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