The Gardening Thread
Any other gardeners out there? I did the bulk of my planting for this year earlier today. Actually, to qualify that, I may have done the bulk of my planting for my vegetable gardens today. I didn't touch the flower bed yet, I still have a few trees to plant, my wife still hasn't decided whether she wants another raised bed out back, plus she may want me to plant a few blackberry bushes. Oh, I'm also ordering a few other types of seeds and I need to pick up some cucumbers.
We're actually taking it kind of easy this year. We usually cram as much as we can fit into the main raised bed, with the bulk of the space going to tomatoes, a section for some sort of legume and a smaller section for whatever else we feel like planting. We have about half the number of tomato plants as last year, but they're spaced out better so we may not take a hit on our overall production. We used to grow a variety of lettuce each year but the local stores quit carrying the individual plants a few years ago and switched over to only carrying big, stone basins with half a dozen perpetual salad plants (in other words, ones you clip throughout the growing season). We found a huge variety of individual plants at one of the local garden centers yesterday so I bought up a few dozen plants. We won't be able to plant any squash or peppers, but we should have tons of salad greens throughout the summer.
Our raspberry bed is already looking great. We had a rough year with them last year. It got so warm early last year that we had a small crop of them in late April/early May. They weren't able to go fully dormant after that so our late summer crop was horrible. Things are looking more promising this year.
One thing I was excited about last year was my cranberries. Those are apparently a bust. The two plants that are left aren't looking good and I haven't been able to keep the weeds at bay in the area I planted them. My lavender also took a hit this year. The plants out front are mostly dead. The ones in back are alive and healthy but pitifully small.
If we go ahead with another bed this year, I'll probably load it up with a variety of squashes and melons. I never get much from those, but my wife likes having them. I'm also reluctant to plant melons of any kind since those are what my one trashy neighbor tends to steal. One other option is to reserve part of the new bed for radishes, spinach and carrots. I've never had luck in my limited tries with spinach and carrots, but I always make out well with radishes. The only problem is that I never have much of a dedicated space for them so I can't do much rotational planting of them. I wouldn't mind a fresh crop of radishes each week, if for no other reason than the greens.