Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Vegetable gardens.....

are one of life's greatest pleasures, as far as I am concerned.

I always had a big problem with my vegetable garden, in that I had rows and rows, and I fought the weeds like crazy. It is difficult to control the weeds, when you are looking at multiple 40' rows!

Talk about depressing!

So, we put in a raised bed vegetable garden.

Not a great picture here, but it is old. Do digital pictures deteriorate on Photobucket? It seems that my old ones are looking a bit.....OLD!

Anyway, this is what we started with. We have added several beds, but it is basically the same layout.

We used to grow everything! I am guilty of planting things I will not eat, not even in a dream! But they are interesting to watch as they grow, so that is how I justify spending my space on them.

The fence behind the big mailbox is used for beans, peas, cucumber, or even small watermelon and cantaloupe. If you use old pantyhose to create a sling for the fruit, cantaloupe and watermelon do very well on a support.
Also, you don't have to worry about finding 'Mr. Snake' in the foliage. As a rule, you don't.
I never have enough room to grow everything, so I find ways to expand my area. I use tires to grow tomatoes. Bobby cuts them and turns them inside out, and I paint them (or leave them black). They last forever, and a tire provides excellent protection in the early cool weather of spring.

This is one of those things that I grew but had not planned on eating. It is cardoon, a relative of the artichoke, and it is BEEutiful! This one got to be 12' across, we called it our dinosaur food.
The artichoke didn't get so big, but it grew wonderful artichokes!
I grow sweet peas on the arbor in spring, then plant something like birdhouse gourds to grow in summer. That way, I have a shady spot to sit, when it is really hot out there.
I am working in my garden now. We have cabbages, a few cauliflower left, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Swiss chard, onions, lettuce, spinach, and a few cool weather herbs like dill, cilantro, comfrey, and parsley. Some people have put in tomatoes, but I am waiting for this last little cold spell that we are expecting tonight before I plant mine. Yesterday, I planted corn, radishes, more lettuce, and peas.
I love to stand in the garden and graze on snow peas! I don't even need salt!


Jean said...

Those top photos ARE old -- that monkey lives at my place now!

I'm thinking pole beans on my trellises that make little 'tents' and zuchinni underneath. Maybe I'll put cardoon instead of zuchinni.

My mother's rule was, Beans are planted on Good Friday; just three weeks away.

Rose said...

Janie, your raised bed garden is fabo! I totally agree that a vegetable garden is one of life's greatest pleasures. Can't wait to get growing myself!!!

ancient one said...

In our neck of the woods, just about everything was planted on Good Friday. Daddy said you don't plant corn until the dogwoods bloom. In our younger days, we planted whenever we could get time to do it. And our garden really produced! Then my husband started listening to the older people who planted by signs. Our garden never was as good! Now, he's too busy to do much gardening. Last year we just had some cukes and tomatoes and it was so dry they didn't do all that well.

I do like the idea of your raised beds. Now, I'm going to go back and look at that picture again and see if I can see the monkey Jean was talking about..LOL

OhioMom said...

Oh I have always loved the layout of your veggie garden ... would love to be grazing in your backyard right now , we got another foot + of snow :)

LBP said...

I am so jealous! What a wonderful layout. I am still planting rows and rows. I have never heard of Cardoon, but I love that plant in your photo! It's Huge!

I too plant things I won't eat. Like radishes, I love to see them grow.

It's a little early to plant here. I have started tomatoes and peppers in my grow lites. I will probably get onions in sometime next week.