Vegetable garden update #1

Since folks have been asking me how my veggie garden is coming along, I've decided it's time for an update.

First of all, the garden is 100% planted now which is always an awesome feeling each year! We've been blessed with quite mild weather over the past month so I planted many warm-season crops a bit earlier than usual.

Here are a few specifics on how things are doing:

As you can see above, the peas are doing great! You’ll recall I planted them quite a bit earlier than usual this spring, yet kept them covered with some floating row cover to protect them from frosts. The effort was worth it because the vines are looking really robust. I’m growing ‘Green Arrow’ on the right side of the trellis and ‘Golden Sweet’ on the left. Look at the purple flower on the ‘Golden Sweet’ (to right)! That is really unusual but it doesn’t stop there: the pods will be golden in color. Stay tuned on that...

The potatoes are also growing well (left). This year, I’m growing ‘German Butterball’ and ‘Viking Purple’. I grew the latter last year and really enjoyed their purple skins and tasty white flesh.

Here are some of the ‘Italian Snap’ pole beans to the right. As you can see, they’re just starting to climb the trellis. Very exciting!

Next up is a bed covered with red plastic mulch (to keep the soil warm) and planted with ‘Arava’ melons and ‘Parisian Gherkin’ cucumbers. The cukes are unusual in that the plants only grow about a foot tall, so they won’t require supports. I thought it’d be interesting to try them.

The artichoke plants are coming along nicely. No, these aren’t the ones I was overwintering as I made an unfortunate mistake with them. Yes, I make plenty of mistakes! They were overwintering pretty well underneath layers of floating row cover and clear plastic... that is, until we had some unseasonably warm weather and the plants got cooked under that plastic! Whoops. An important lesson to learn. So these artichokes (‘Green Globe’ and ‘Imperial Star’) are ones I’d started from seeds a couple of months ago. I had 2 spare seedlings so decided to plant them in my perennial bed out front at my husband’s urging. That will be fun!

This is the zucchini bed. Three of them are ‘Romanesco’ bush-type zucchinis and the back four are ‘Trombetta di Albenga’ which is a climbing summer squash with long, narrow fruits. It’s always fun to try something new. That's why you can see part of a trellis on the back of the bed.

Last but not least is a photo of the ‘Jetstar’ slicing tomatoes in my little hoop house. They are coming along nicely. This is a bit of an experiment for me to see if they’ll produce earlier due to being in a warmer environment. Bill plans to build a second door for the hoop house to provide the plants with more cross-ventilation when it gets a lot warmer... and also for another way for bees to get in. Tomatoes are self-fruitful but you’ll certainly get more productivity with help from pollinating insects.

 OK, that's the update for now! I'll keep you posted on how everything is doing from time to time.