Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

May 20, 2009

The Garden Walk

Growing a garden takes commitment and a good bit of time. It's not a something for nothing proposition. Aside from the bursts of very hard work that come with planting and planning there's the maintenance. Weeding, watering and watching for that just right time to harvest.

It's that part, the maintenance part, where A~ and I have come up with a very pleasant way to keep up with it; our garden walks. Every night, nearly anyway, after I've come home from work and we've eaten dinner together she and I take the garden walk. And yes, we actually ask each other "You ready to take a garden walk?". So, after the last couple of weeks of hard work in the garden, planting, double digging, moving, rearranging and such, I thought I'd ask YOU.."You ready to take a garden walk with me?"First out the back door we notice that the sunflowers that A~ started from seed and has planted all over the garden for the bees to enjoy are coming along great.Next up is one of my test plants from last year. They're beets that are going to seed. What a gnarly looking plant!Here on the East facing part of the house where I only really get morning sun I've found that there's a great micro climate for growing my lettuce. Here's some Iceberg and Romaine.This is one of our new garden beds that we added to the South side of the house. I'm trying out the Three sisters here. Beans, squash and corn.You can see the sisters better in this pic.
Now then...sliding over to the south fence line we check out another new bed for this year, the Lasagna bed that I added in the Fall. Along it, I've planted some watermelons, peppers, Casaba melon, Eggplant, bush cucumbers and 12 Hamson determinate tomatoes of different sizes. I tried to make it a good mix of different types in order to get a good idea of how things do in this part of the yard.Going around the corner from the south side of the yard to the East one, I have eight Roma VF determinate tomatoes (not pictured) and then yet another patch of tomatoes. These are some Celebrity and Heartland tomatoes. Brussels sprouts and Swiss Chard here... First time for Brussels this year. They're looking healthy though.
Here in the slightly shadier area behind the pergola our raspberry and rhubarb patch has gone crazy this year. Oh yeah! Pies and jellies here we come... Don't believe me?
Well just beyond them is the strawberry patch. These three together, the raspberries, strawberries and rhubarb that is, make up what we call the "pie garden". Last year this little 3x10 patch yielded 25 lbs. Looks like this may be another great year.
I skipped a couple of beds obviously, well obvious to me anyway, but it was not on purpose. They both held Kohlrabi and some cabbage plants. Either way, I've move over to the north garden now, and here's the crop of the year, my peas. This is one of the beds that I planted approx 300 seeds in. So far they're all growing great.
I had the question of how they would be supported. I've decided to try two different ways. The first picture has literally no supports. They are completely self supported. This bunch have clung to a horizontal layer of strings that I tied around the trellis structure. Both are working fine so far. In fact...
They're starting to bloom!! But I need to continue or we'll never get done.
The next bed on the walk brings us to our cabbage and Broccoli plantings. It's got Napa Cabbage that I'm getting ready to harvest, and broccoli that is coming along great.
Check it out, Heads! We're so excited to try these out soon.
This was the bed that we grew our squash in last year. It's an odd sized one from the others, so we've decided to grow a mix of stuff in it. The left side are Sugar Snap peas and the other fern looking things are our multiple plantings of carrots for the summer.
Finally, one last bed of cold weather crops round out our original North side garden beds. This has more broccoli mixed with a bunch of Kale. I say original north side beds because we've had yet another expansion this year.
Ta-Da...The new north side Expansion. Four new 4x4 beds that will be holding indeterminate tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans this year. This was the previous location of my compost bins and all my junk that I collect for projects. I'll have to show you where those ended up on another post.
Now we're heading through the gate into the front yard. And this area is the very last bit of newly added garden space from this year. It's the potato and onion garden. These of course being the onions, and these...
being the potatoes! We just love watching these grow. I can't tell you why necessarily, but we both do. They're growing fantastically. Full, green and healthy. Just about ready for some mounding too. Stay tuned for more on that.
Well, that's about it for the food gardens. They're coming along well I think. I do want to finish off by closing out this idea of the garden walk. The point isn't just to walk around and admire, although that is admittedly a perk, but rather to check on things and make sure all is well. This routine of regularly checking on everything gives us the opportunity to pull a new weed here or there, and make sure we aren't starting to see a new pest infestation.
So get out and check on your gardens. Keep in tune with them and they'll reward you.
Till next time.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the garden walk :-) I especially liked seeing the berry plants, the taste of that fruit is so close! When did you set out your eggplant? I'm going to get them out this weekend, so am hoping the weather holds.

ChicagoMike said...

Hey Paul,

Wow. You have been busy. No wonder you have taken a spell from the blog!

Looks magnificent!


Phelan said...

Looks great!

Kory said...

looks great! how closely are your broccoli spaced?

Anonymous said...

Wow p, it all looks fantastic. Your beds are beautiful and functional (and orderly, of course! :) I'm wondering about sun/shade requirements. Do you have to really watch an area to determine it's microclimate and it's approximate sunlight? I mean, I know you have been gardening here for awhile and all....I guess this girl who has wide open spaces is wondering if it is difficult to work out planting among the buildings and fences?

Amanda said...

Thanks so much for the walk!! I really enjoyed it. I have also planted peas the same way you have and I am happy to see that yours are doing so well. I was beginning to wonder what I should do to support them, but maybe it isn't necessary? Thanks again!! Amanda

Susan said...

Loved the garden tour. I do the same thing every day when I get home from work. Your peas and potatoes are farther along than mine, but my tomatoes I started back in Feb dwarf yours. I think you have about 2x as much garden bed footage as I do right now. You've got quite an impressive mix of different plants. I can't wait to see more pics as the season progresses.

Eva said...

That is an amazing walk! Thank you! The garden looks fantastic. I love how neat and tidy everything looks. :) How wonderful your broccoli is looking!!!And the strawberry, raspberry & rhubarb...Wowsers!! All of your hard work & commitment is paying off.

Melissa ~ Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

I just want to HUG my computer screen - it all looks so lovely!! And, organized!! and weed free!! Talk about a lot of work ~ wow! Love the berry patch.

Irma said...

Your garden is beautiful. For me, it was a major victory to get my husband or board with putting in three new veg beds this year, as it means giving up precious grass. I am hopeful that in future years I will "get away" with adding a bed or two every year until all that useless grass is gone. (useless for us because we don't have small children or an actual USE for turfed space.) I have (grudgingly) agreed not to infringe on the front yard, so hopefully one of these years he backyard will be ALL MINE.

Anonymous said...


This all looks great. I'm actually curious what material you used for your foot paths, like those around the peas and on the north side. They look very weed free!

The Thinker said...

That looks beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

Juniper said...

Very impressive. When did you set out your cabbage and broccoli? Did you start them from seed? it seems like it always gets too hot here before mine does anything, then the aphids move in for the kill and it just kind of limps along till it dies.