My seed ordering this spring is from Johnny’s Seeds and from Baker Creek Seeds. I don’t receive any monetary stuff from those links. Not yet, anyway. (I will let my readership know when I do.)
I also have a collection of unplanted seeds from last year.
This post doesn’t cover stonefruit trees, which will be discussed in the future.
The Herb Garden (Plus Asparagus and So Forth)
This was the first plot established – I wanted to just go outdoors and pick herbs without going up and down stairs, or without having these things a far distance to walk. You know, the Immediate Gratification thing. Since I actually started working on this plot before I moved in, I incorporated some fruits and vegetables as well – further away.
My home is on a slope with a walk out basement. If I walk out the front door I face due north – not the best place for an herb garden. I cross past the garage to the east, and THEN walk down the abutting herb garden plot. (There were logistical reasons for putting the garage where I put it – not a big deal, it is a one-car garage.) There’s a walkway by the stone frontage of this plot. And it does get enough sun for most purposes that I’ll be doing.
So… here’s the rough ‘n’ ready sketch of it: (I have in the past grown kale, onions, parsley and various herbs here, but I am going to revamp nearly all of the space now.) But rhubarb (yes, I LIKE it) will be an additional perennial. I am going to be doing some serious refurbishing here.
.Garden is the green part. Garage wall to left. Italics are planned items, Not-italicized are currently existing items I am keeping. I am also planning for saffron. H = Horseradish, which will be kept severely cropped.
The miscellaneous herb section may well also include perilla leaf and similar greens.
The Raised Beds
These were put into place in mid-June, so I was not able to do everything I wanted out of them in 2019. Currently, I have four beds – 12 feet by 4 feet, divided into segments of three for each. Last year I did grow small potatoes, “delicata” squash, cherry tomatoes, a variety of peppers, and several types of basil. My ambitions are larger this year.
They are 18 inches high, largely because I’m getting older and creakier, with bad knees, and I am six feet tall. I planned for them to have enough room between that my garden cart can navigate between them. Being tall, a benefit is that I can indeed reach across these beds – for shorter folk, 3.5 or even 3 feet distance might be best.
My goal is to put cattle panels hooped across the squash areas this year, so I can trellis my squash varieties. I have picked THREE different varieties of squash – ie three different species. So they won’t interbreed, and I can seed-save come fall or winter. Last year I planted delicata squash from my farmer’s market purchased plant. They came up and grew like a-blazing – but only one actually resembled a delicata. (I still enjoyed, but this is not always a guarantee if your squash intermingle….)
Here’s my plot plan, 2020.:
The Island Circle
This is in the approach to the house, and the weird shape in the center of the image below is a rock we placed there for whatever passes for our sense of aesthetics. Actually, I really like it…
Around the exterior of the stone are daffodils.
Beyond it, I want a circle of perennials such as Echinasea (purple coneflower), whatever types of Rudbeckia will work here, and the bee balm (some of which is already here, courtesy of a friend, and labelled as BB on the image below).
On the exterior of the “island” I am planning for a combination of annual veggies and flowers. Including nasturtiums, which do fall in both categories.
I probably should have named this “Pear Shaped Garden”. Oh, well. The outer areas will have a lot of things planted from both rareseeds.com and Johnnyseeds.com not mentioned above. AND I still have to find a replacement persimmon…
I will be doing a variety of annual veggies in the region outside the circle in the above image. I mean, I DID order a lot of seeds this month! Eventually this region will no longer house annual veggies but simply flowers and perennials such as Echinacea / bee balm. And a persimmon, if i can get one to grow!
- Leafy Asian Greens / Mizuna
- Hybrid Kabocha Winter Squash (Curcubita maxima sp.)
- Leafy Asian Greens / Tokyo Bekana (a brassica)
- Delicata Sweet Dumpling Winter Squash (C. pepo)
- A broadfork
- A hoe.
From Baker Creek:
- Tha Rai Kaw Tok Pumpkin (sounds weird, but it the third species of winter squash.)
- Victoria Rhubarb.
- Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach.
- 5 Color Silverbeet Swiss Chard.
- Two varieties of cherry tomatoes.
- Dwarf Moringa
- Tom Thumb Lettuce
- Merlot Lettuce (is it alcoholic?)
- Chinese Broccoli
- 3 more packs of salad green seeds.
- Nasturiums, a couple varieties.
I really envy your raised beds. Looks like a lot of work, but totally worth it.
Asparagus are so much fun to grow. They are beautiful perennial ferns, and it’s strange and wonderful when the asparagus themselves start poking up from the earth. And you can mix green and purple.
One year, we found seeds for a speckled, buttery lettuce that I have been trying to find again forever. The lettuce had lots of colorful spots all over it, and looked amazing in salads. If you ever find something like that in your seed catalogs, it’s worth experimenting with.
I really have good hopes for my asparagus. I suspect I can harvest them, at least some, in 2021. The lettuce you mention sounds great!
If you haven’t tried growing asparagus before, I will warn you that you have to be committed long-term to wherever you place them. Funny story: At our old house, we planted a patch of asparagus ferns in a back piece of the property and then later cut the ferns down to return it to a lawn. So we’d be out mowing the lawn *years* later, and little asparagus spears would be poking up through the grass! It was hilarious.
I’d be happy with that.. No thorns, no poison ivy… But thanks, I do take your point! One thing, for instance, is that I won’t be growing mint here without SEVERE barriers against the spread of that! Thanks!
I love your raised beds, those are a great size! Thanks for sharing this with us at the Homestead Blog Hop, please come back again soon!
Thanks! I can’t wait to get out in the garden! Although I’ve actually already put some cold hardy seeds in it. Beets, spinach, lettuce.