It’s a big day around here! The gardens have been planted and the seedlings have moved outside to their new homes.
Just like high school, there are cliques or groups that stick together. Some plants do not want to sit with certain other plants at lunch. Other plants like each other so much they so best when planted together, like that gaggle of girls who roam school hallways. It’s important to figure out what you are planting and what goes with what. Check out this chart to give you an idea of who likes who.
I have two raised beds and for the most part the plants fall into two groups that like each other. Below is the larger bed (which is 3 1/2′ x 7 1/2′ in case you were wondering.)
In the back on the left is a tomato of the Sweetie variety. On the back right is the tomato Matina variety. Only one has a cage since the other cage is still guarding the potatoes from Opie. In the front center are two pepper plants, mixed color bell. (I like to get the variety pack and see what we end up with.) In the right front corner are the basil seedlings. In the left front corner are the parsley seedings that have little chance of making it (since they are too tall and weak as discussed earlier in the seed update) but I figured what the hell. Since I don’t expect much from the parsley, I also threw more seeds in around the seedlings. Unlike the tomatoes, the herbs have a short growing season and don’t need to be started inside. If they don’t grow you can try again.
Here is the smaller raised bed (3 1/2′ x 6 1/2′). Instead of nerds and band members, this clique features broccoli, beets and cucumbers.
What’s that you say? You don’t see anything? Well that’s because the members of this group are all started from seed. I was supposed to start the broccoli in March but once again this year I didn’t get them in until May so I don’t expect anything to go well. They like cool weather and need to be in early to grow before the heat gets here. The beets can be planted from March until May so I am ok sort of. They like cool weather also so if it gets really hot before they get a chance to grow I won’t have much luck there either.
Also, a note on spacing. Right now there looks to be a lot of room to plant more plants. Do not forget that these plants will get bigger and you need to leave room. In the directions on the seed pack you will see the spacing for the plants. Follow it. They don’t just make this stuff up.
On the right you will see the large cucumber frame I built myself. Directions for this will be posted shortly. Last year the cucumbers took over this whole bed with it’s long vines no matter how much I cut it back. This year I decided it needed somewhere to go and thought up would be a good idea. I looked around for a bunch of ideas and this seemed look a good cheap idea. There are tons out there on The Google so look around for an idea that uses what you already have. The seeds are then planted at the base of the frame on both sides in small hills. As they grow I will train them up the frame instead of letting them just go everywhere.
I also picked up a pack of seeds for a mesclun lettuce combo that I planted in a pot by the growing spinach and arugula. For the herbs, I started more seeds of basil and parsley in pots because you can never have enough of those (remind me of this comment come July). I bought a chocolate mint plant because it smells awesome and will give us another option when making mojitos. This also went into a pot because mint in EXTREMELY invasive. It will take over everything. When you try to rip it out there will be a tiny part of the root left over and it will regrow. It’s amazing actually. Last year my potted mint sent out a shoot over the pot edge and into the adjacent pot to take that over.
And finally, last year I planted arugula. It didn’t go well and I never got anything to eat. I didn’t properly clean out my pots from last year. As I go to reuse the pots this year I see that there is a bunch of new seedlings in the window box I tried arugula in. At first I think it’s just weeds but soon realize that, lo and behold, it’s arugula.
So because I was lazy, I get arugula. And the bonus is that I planted a different variety last year than this year so I have another type of lettuce to add to the crop. That’s the thing I love about gardening – just when you think you have a plan and know how it’s going to go, mother nature laughs and does what she wants.