The three raised beds have produced more this year than I hoped! I harvested many beans, peppers, and herbs. I will give descriptions & details, with links, for all plants soon. Here are a few photo galleries & brief info for each month from June through August, 2018.
I planted new fall & winter seeds the week of Sept 19. See my previous post for detailed information about the raised bed building process, seed starting, and garden harvests from earlier this year. Also, my next post will feature some of the gorgeous, Georgia native plants that finally bloomed in my garden this year!
It was warmer than usual, longer than usual in fall of 2017. I harvested peppers and peas until Dec. 8th. It was a great garden year, and it was fun trying new seeds and plants for the first time. New garden beds, seeds, plants, and new adventures to follow for 2018!
I harvested green bells, orange baby bells, and absolutely no Poblanos. The Poblano bloomed many times, but no peppers.
My first time growing peas, and I planted late Sept/early Oct. It was hot all fall, so they had trouble getting started, but continued to produce peas until December.
I grew two varieties of Burpee brand peas from seed for the first time- Sugar Daddy and Super Sugar Snap. I learned about the types of peas, Snap vs. Garden. With Garden Peas, the peas inside the pod are the edible part, and you discard the pod. Snap Peas have tender, edible pods. The peas are tiny and tender, and you eat the whole thing pod and all!
I have a small, metal frame greenhouse on the porch for the first time this winter. I put plants from the raised beds in the greenhouse before the first frost, and everything is still alive. My next post will be about the greenhouse, and the new seeds I’m planting for my 2018 garden!
I added a second round of transplants and seeds in early May. Directly sowed more cucumber, bush beans & more tomato seeds. I added my organic, homemade compost from the Earth Machine, mushroom compost, organic pine bark mulch, and native clay soil to both beds.
This year, I have an infestation of what we call tater or pill bugs, (but they have many names). So far, they’ve only munched my cucumber leaves a little. I will leave them alone, as they don’t seem to be doing much harm. They are very interesting creatures, notable for their ability to clean heavy metals from soil.
Step #1-Find a spot with good sun. 5-8 hours per day. Mostly level with slight drainage slope. Southwest or South facing is usually good.
I built my first raised garden bed back in 2013. I needed a second bed this year because I started so many seeds, and I was ready to expand my garden. I completed the construction of the second bed in June finally-thanks to a lot of help from my wonderful husband. He did a lot of the hard work this time because I was recovering from surgery.
Step #2- Get materials, Construct, & Fill the Bed –
Materials needed– untreated wood, corner stakes, screws and drill, hammer
I refilled last year’s bed back in late April because it had settled and lost volume. I used some of my own compost from the Earth Machine, and I supplemented with organic mushroom compost and organic pine bark soil conditioner.
The Rosemary, Lavender, Peppermint, and Oregano survived the winter!
Lots of shovel turning later and …
Step #3- Decide & Plan what you will plant & where in the bed you will put the plants
Step #4- Plant herb and vegetable seeds and/or plants
The picture above is from mid May at planting time. Everything looked a little yellow here, but below is a photo from just recently. Everything took off and I have had the best garden year yet!
Step #5-Tend the beds by watering, removing pests, and harvesting throughout the season.
Enjoy the Harvest!
I am including a link to my Growing an Essay piece here. I find the connections and similarities between gardening and writing interesting.
This “Earth Machine” compost container, made by Norseman Plastics, is really more than a “bin”.
I bought this a few weeks ago at my county’s Recycling Center sale. When I picked it up, there were Master Gardeners there to teach me about the basics and answer questions. I also got a free small kitchen bucket, with a tight seal, for holding the food scraps until I’m ready to take them out.
You can’t put meat, oil, fat, or bones in, but all other kitchen food waste is great. You mix 1/3 food scraps (greens) to 2/3 dead leaves (browns) and keep it slightly damp. I hope to make a fantastic soil amendment for my garden. With our plastic and paper recycling and now the composting, we have cut our trash output by 80%!