Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Garden is Pure Chaos This Year, and I LIKE it

In years past, I always got very excited with gardening. I would start planning what I was going to plant in the winter months, picking out different varieties, trying to figure out succession gardening, and also planning for the inevitable varmint invasion. But the last few years I've been pretty busy with my etsy shop during the summer, so I've had less time to spend in the dirt. I was also reluctant to get a big garden in because we were thinking of moving.

This year I decided to do something different. I didn't get my garden chart out until the day I planted. I decided on a whim where I was planting everything...and I wasn't going to be planting much. Well, that was the "non-plan" plan at least.

I put in my usual row of lettuce mix, a short row of Endive, Kale, & Swiss Chard. Then carrots, parsnips (which I never planted before, and which didn't germinate), and green onions. I put 2 long rows of green beans in using seed I saved from last year's bumper crop. And the other new thing I put in was potatoes. I've never planted potatoes before so I wasn't sure what to expect. They are big & my garden looks like a big green jungle, especially with the potatoes right next to the beans.

I was determined not to plant any tomatoes because I still have a lot of salsa left over from a few years ago, so I wouldn't be canning them. But, it's always nice to have a ripe tomato from the garden, so I let the volunteer plants grow up. I knew what I might be in for when I made that decision...possibly dozens of cherry tomato plants. So far I know there are about 5 cherry tomatoes, but I'm hoping at least one of the other volunteers is a Black Krim, the best tomato I've ever planted!

I have at least 5 tomato plants in between the beans & potatoes. I have no idea how I'm going to get in there & pick those. One of the benefits of having a raised garden bed is that you can plant a little closer together. But the mistake I made with my raised bed is that it's a bit too wide, so it's hard to reach into the center.

The awesome surprise volunteer is an enormous zucchini plant. What's funny is that every year I would plant multiple zucchini plants & all would fail miserably. The plants would be puny, about the size of a dinner plate, then start to yellow & then rot at the stems. I usually would only get 1 tiny zucchini before the plants would die. I stopped planting it several years ago out of frustration. This volunteer is about 2.5 feet high & probably 100 times bigger & stronger looking than anything I ever planted. The stems are enormous & filled with blossoms. So I guess I just had to have Mother Nature plant zucchini for me.

I also seem to have 2 pumpkins or gourds. One is under the potatoes, which is covering the green onions, and some of the tomatoes. I seriously didn't weed or thin out anything, as you can see from my photos!

Beans, tomatoes, and potatoes, OH MY. 
Volunteer Zucchini... it's covering a row of carrots, but I was too excited to have zucchini, so I don't mind. 
On the left is Kale, not the curly kind, lettuce, swiss chard, and also volunteer dill from  5 YEARS AGO! Dill is hard to get rid of. The one blank dirt spot is from my swiss chard also not germinating. Too bad, because we love chard!
And our raspberries :)

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