Organic Raised Bed Veggies

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.

June

July

August

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!

Oct-Dec & still gardening! Peppers & Peas Please

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!

Peppers everywhere this year! I grew Tabasco peppers and Early Jalapenos from seed, from Lake Valley Seed Company. The Tabascos took a long time, but we had many, many Jalapenos all year long!

I harvested green bells, orange baby bells, and absolutely no Poblanos. The Poblano bloomed many times, but no peppers.

Beautiful Pea Bloom

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!

Raised Beds, June-August 2017

I will post details on all 2017 plants soon. I am so busy with the gardening work, I haven’t had time to write much. What an exciting garden year!

August brought lots of harvests, and I planted a bunch of new seeds. I will post details about each very soon. I even canned some cucumber and jalapeno pickles for the first time this year.

I am working on a cool season garden for the first time this year with cabbages, lettuces, radishes, pumpkins, mustard greens, peas, and various herbs. I will post soon about those endeavors.

Seeds & Raised Beds 2017

I planted a multitude of seeds this year. I am amazed how many herbs and veggies fit in the two 3′ x 8′ raised, organic garden beds. We will see what survives & thrives in 2017.

Herbs grown from seed:

Parsley, Marjoram, Thyme, Lovage, Basil, Coriander/Cilantro, Catnip, Chamomile, Anise, Summer Savory, & Chives

April 2- the first round of seeds, in shade for a week to acclimate to outside

Veggies:

Peppers-Jalapeno, Tabasco grown from seed. I bought a Poblano (which the deer immediately destroyed), a Green Bell, & an Orange Baby Bell pepper.

Tomatoes: Cherry, Yellow Pear, Early Girl-from seed

Cucumbers-Pickling & Bush Beans- from seed

I started the 1st round of seeds indoors in early March- a few weeks later than usual. Those seeds became the plants above- pic taken before planting in the raised beds in mid April!

April 20th– (a little later than I like) I transplanted the first round, after prepping the beds. I also added a second round of new seeds directly to the soil. The Rosemary, Oregano, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, and Parsley survived the winter.

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.

5 Steps to a Raised, Organic Garden Bed

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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The Rosemary, Lavender, Peppermint, and Oregano survived the winter!

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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

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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!

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Sweet Basil
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Pickling Cucumber

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Early Girl Tomato
  • 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.

Composting Bin!

This “Earth Machine” compost container, made by Norseman Plastics, is really more than a “bin”.EMachine

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.KBucket

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%!