Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The transformation in the vegetable garden!

I was thrilled to step into my backyard last weekend to see this! Welcome to the newly mulched vegetable garden.

Morning glories are on their way up this arbor.
It looks even better than I imagined. Weeds all gone (I only wish the gopher was gone too, grrr).  I can now see lots more room for expanding those raised beds one day. The mulch will hold us over until we 'live' with the layout for a year and decide how to redesign it, if we even do. At the moment, we've got our hands full with the rest of the house as well.

A little seating area would be perfect right here.
 I spent the entire weekend going over the existing irrigation, updating and expanding it. I also mulched and netted the strawberry bed to keep those sweet birds off my food. I planted a first flush of pole bean seeds in their own bed. They'll be kept company with some love lies bleeding and calendula flowers tucked into the corners.

Kentucky Wonder beans on the outside and Purple Podded in the center.
The rest of the garden is filling in fast as well. The irises are in full bloom now. Not my first pick of flower colors but at least there's something. Beyond the irises is the vegetable garden area with broccoli, garlic and english peas reaching high.

Speaking of growing. I think we're more than set with chard plants. In addition to these babies I salvaged from the existing garden last year, my daughter's raised bed has twelve more that are almost ready for harvesting. Good thing we love chard!

And as if I didn't have enough raised beds, I built another one this month. This one will hold a lot of herbs. I plan to keep a fair amount of herbs in the main garden as well as natural pest deterrents but needed an extra spot for my tea herbs and those cuttings you need in a quick pinch when you're in the middle of cooking. The herb bed is located between our outdoor patio and covered porch.

We built the bed with cedar boards and plan to add a seating lip around it for parties. I can't tell you how many wheelbarrows or compost and soil it took to fill it. My back knows. The bed is filled with two determinate cherry tomatoes, chives, lemon balm, tarragon, savory, chamomile, four mints (in their own pots), thyme and allyssum. We also planted scarlet runner beans and perpetual spinach to climb up the trellis and block out some of the fierce afternoon sun.

And last but not least, the fruit is coming! These are cherry plums above that the previous owners used to make jam. Check out my flikr page to see all the other fruits developing in the garden. This weekend will be all about preparing the last two raised beds for melons plus some more inter and succession planting. It's settling down finally!

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