Now that the main vegetable garden area is almost all planted, I thought it was time to give a tour. I have ten beds/rows there that are each 4 feet wide by about 40 feet long. Only the first one is a raised bed. It had vining squash in it last year, but this time it is home to the pole beans. I set up the trellis in a zig-zag manner, with each section being about 6 feet in length. Doing that let me get 7 sections in the space, giving me 42 running feet to plant the beans.
I have nine varieties of pole snap beans planted, including Fortex, Musica, Gold Marie, Trionfo Violetta, Climbing French, Rattlesnake, and the yardlong bean Red Noodle. Two more are heirloom ‘greasy beans’ I grew last year called Lazy Wife Greasy and Robe Mountain. I also have two varieties of dry pole beans planted, Good Mother Stallard and Poletschka, though Rattlesnake is a dual-purpose bean that is good as both a snap bean and a dried bean. That’s Trionfo Violetta in the below photo, which is currently leading in the race to see who makes it to the top first.
In bed #2 I have lots of peppers planted, 58 plants in all. I planted them two across in a staggered fashion, with each row being about 12 inches apart and the plants being 18 inches apart down the row. All the plants are mulched with sheets of newspaper then covered with straw. Not all the plants have the folding cages though. Some have wire ring tomato cages for support, which are great for peppers and eggplant but pretty worthless for supporting tomatoes in my opinion. I see a bloom in the below photo and a few weeds I need to pull.
Most of the peppers came from seeds I started back in March, but a few are plants I overwintered in containers. That’s the C. baccatum pepper Aji Angelo in the below photo. It is now in its third season here, and will likely give me the first hot peppers of the year. It’s blooming already and setting on fruit, and dwarfs the seedling you can see to the right of it. In 2014 it grew in a container, then I planted it in the ground last year. I dug it up last fall and overwintered it in a container before planting it out again this year. I have no idea how long I can keep this plant going, but it sure seems to be doing well at the moment!
In bed #3 I have a mix of eggplants, paste tomatoes and cucumbers. The eggplants are supported by the wire ring cages, while the tomatoes are in my homemade remesh cages. The eggplants have about the usual amount of flea beetle damage they have at this stage, and I am spraying them once a week with a neem oil/pyrethin mix. Some of them are starting to bloom also.
In bed #4 I have potatoes, bush beans and black tepary beans planted. The potatoes have been hilled twice now and I could probably find a few new potatoes if I tried. I’ll likely wait until I have some snap beans ready, since I love the seasonal treat of fresh dug new potatoes and green beans cooked together. That’s the 1990 AAS winner Derby bush bean in the below photo, and it is just now starting to bloom.
Bed #5 has the brassicas planted, plus brown tepary beans at one end. I have started cutting the broccoli, and more plants are heading up. That’s Green Magic in the below photo.
Bed #6 is planted in garlic, with snow peas at the other end. Some of the early maturing garlic cultivars are close to being ready to dig. That’s Red Janice in the below photo, a Turban type originally from the Republic of Georgia. Some of the lower leaves are turning brown, so I’ll probably dig one of these next week to see how they are doing.
Bed #7 is planted all in tomatoes. I have lots of cherry and plum types here plus the slicers. The tomatoes are caged in homemade remesh cages. That’s Celebrity and a new University of Florida variety called Garden Treasure in the below photo.
Another slicer, Jetsetter, is setting on green tomatoes and might give us the first slicing tomatoes of the year.
Bed #8 is all sweet potatoes. I’m still waiting on the ones I ordered, but I have planted the Bonita and Purple slips I started myself and they are already taking off. The weeds are taking off too, and I will mulch this bed with straw once the rest of the slips are planted.
Bed #9 is bush and semi-bush squash. Of course most all squash tends to ramble around a bit, even the summer bush types, so I give these plants a generous spacing in the bed.
Several of the bush summer squashes are blooming, including the hybrid zucchini Romanesco in the below photo. It is in the race to give us our first squash of the year, running neck and neck with Bossa Nova and Astia.
Bed #10 is where I planted most of the vining squash. It’s the last bed, and I can let the vines climb up the fencing on the outside of the garden. That’s Candystick Dessert Delicata in the foreground of the below photo. I tried growing this one last year but the vines didn’t make it, so I am hoping for better luck this year. Its parents include Honeyboat and Hessel’s Sugar Loaf, and I am growing those this year too. With any luck I will able to compare the three of them, and eat a lot of Delicatas in the process! Behind the two delicata plants you can see Butternut Rugosa (aka Violina Rugosa) which is a moschata type that also failed to produce for me last year.
I hope you have enjoyed this tour of our vegetable garden. I’ll be back soon with more happenings from Happy Acres!