I finally finished my first round of planting and all the rows and containers are done (for the time being). I cheated a little and subtracted the final two rows on the sloped part of my vegetable garden. I realized I needed to find a convenient place for compost piles near the garden and that was the best spot. In all my wisdom planning those rows I forgot how shaded they would be once the leaves came in on the trees, so that played a part in the decision.
I am very happy with the vegetable gardens progress this year. At this time last year I had already lost my whole crops of beans and peas. My broccoli and cabbage had been devoured by my garden nemesis and I was trying to replant those in vain. So far this year my zucchini has given my the hardest time with the cucumber beetle problems but most of those plants are bouncing back now and it looks like I will only have to replant 3 more. I will wait to replant until I see a larger reduction in the cucumber beetle population.
I made the maniacs work for their dinner and cut herbs and greens from the garden. Mint, Sage, and Chives are all kicking into high gear and I will have to start regularly cutting them to use and preserve. The Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, and Basil is still not ready to start harvesting. I just realized I didn’t plant Rosemary so I will have to remedy that situation. I had tried to overwinter Rosemary in pots indoors but they died.
Often I will just hang herbs in my kitchen window to dry. These will actually go into a dehydrator but I haven’t dug that out from its winter home in the basement yet.
We were able to cut a couple days worth of mixed salad greens from the garden. This is about what I am hoping to be able to cut every 2-3 days throughout the season. With around 200 Kale and Chard plants in the garden and tons of other greens I am thinking that will not be a problem. The cut greens soak in a large bowl with cold water then are strained, rinsed again, and spun through a salad spinner before going into the refrigerator (or directly into a salad).
I pulled my first radishes of the year. These were small but they were mostly pulled to make room for other ones since I haven’t thinned any of my plantings up to this point. The radishes will go into salad or just eaten as snacks and the nicest greens from them will go into the salad bowl with the mixed greens. I also cut the worlds smallest zucchini. I felt harvesting the first zucchini was a matter of pride after all the trouble they have given me this year.
With the bulk of the planting done next up for the garden is weeding, finishing the pathways, and nurturing the plants. We are not far from our first cherry tomatoes, green beans, peas, or sweet peppers!