I may have gone over the garden cart. Kind of like overboard (cartwise not shipwise), and over the top. I bought an additional greenhouse and started 25 trays of seeds this year! I love seeds, and my favorite place to order heirloom seeds is
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Almost all the plants I grew this year I grew from seed, and many of my seeds were purchased from Baker Creek.
I planted Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Cabbages, Collards, Celery & Brussels Sprouts from seed in Espoma seed starting mix, and then transplanted them into my homemade compost & soil mix, with Espoma Plant Tone mixed in. I have nine beds total, and filled three of them with these plants spacing them 12-16 inches apart. I also add a couple trowel scoops of the compost/manure mix into the holes when I plant.
It rained torrentially for about two weeks in September. Everything I had already planted was pulverized from days and days of heavy rain, but luckily I had started lots of plants from seed & so I had extras to fill in. By then, it was a tad late for fall planting (first week of October). Update post soon with new photos of the plants. Organic is slower, better, & tastier too! Harvesting Collards today!
The growing season here in Georgia is super long & hot for summer veggies. April through October yields lots of produce.
Few memories of mine are more pleasant than those of my childhood in the garden with Dad – salt shaker in hand. We would spend hours out there. Fresh, homegrown, heirloom tomato plucked off the vine, and then devoured with a sprinkle of salt is as good as it gets.
In small spaces, I have grown some fantastic produce. I’d like to share 5 of my favorites discovered over the past seven years, chosen for best growth in small spaces, tastiness of produce, and quantity of yields.
These indeterminate plants are super sturdy and aptly named as “husky.” They are tall, strong vines that need minimal support, and just keep producing the most delicious little 1 inch delights. I am instantly transported back to being a kid in the garden, with all the possibilities of the world ahead of me when I eat a fresh , homegrown tomato plucked from the vine.
While I don’t have the huge, in ground gardens Dad & Mom always made, I do have nine , 4′ x 8 raised wooden beds, a collection of containers, and a small patch of sunshine that the mighty oaks & hickories don’t shade out completely. I get 5-8 hours of sun per day in most of my beds, so they might produce better if I had more sun!
All American Selection Chili Pie Pepper is a fabulous slightly hot, mini bell shaped pepper that reddens as it ages. These plants produce loads of peppers. They need a bit of support as they spread a little wide. There are somewhat shorter plants however and are well suited to raised beds.
I could go on for hours about my love of Jalapenos. But, I already have many times on this blog before. So, I will just say they are tall and beautiful plants that produce an incredible amount of peppers in one season. A Bonnie Plants 6 pack grown in my raised beds in about 10 square feet of bed produced over 200 peppers last year!
My two favorite herbs
Perennial Oregano is a fantastic drying herb, and gives lots of leaves for many years from one plant.
I dry oregano every year and we use it so many things we cook. I bought one plant 7 years ago when I first began blogging and raised bed gardening. I harvest it and prune it back in the early spring before new growth. It is beautiful and very good for you. Oregano has been used for many thousands of years to enhance flavor and is touted for its herbal medicinal qualities as well.
I planted only two raised beds this year due to time constraints. Some of the pics are from April at planting time, and I am including new pictures from the end of June to show how much growth has happened over the last month and half.
Repair and planting of the beds April 20th 2019
I planted some Bonnie plants from six packs along with some seeds that I bought, or already had. Bed #1 has Bonnie Jalapeno, Bonnie Homestead Toms, and Bonnie Yellow Bell Peppers. See links to those three below. I also planted for the first time Jalafuego plants from Papa Joe’s Naturally Grown line from Sunbelt Greenhouses in Douglas, GA.
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!
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!
Tomatoes-Yellow Pear, Okra, Baby Sugar Pie Pumpkins,
Peppers- better pictures of later harvests to follow in my next post which will cover the progress from June-Aug.
1. Jalapeno 2.Habanero 3. Sweet Italian 4.Tabasco
Basil- 3 varieties 1.Thai 2. Cinnamon 3. Genovese
Borage, Dill, Fennel, Caraway, Cucumbers. Details to follow in next post.
I moved the Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Oregano from Raised Bed #1 to in ground locations very early in the spring, because I wanted to make room for more veggies in the bed, and those herbs are perennials which survive the winter here.
I really needed a new third bed, given how many seeds I started this year. I finally got it built in mid April-, but then didn’t get it filled and planted, until first week of May.
I’ve been needing a large Strawberry Pot, and I finally found the perfect one at
Cofer’s – my absolute favorite garden center of all time!
Below is a link to my transcription of my handwritten, in a hurry seed starting notes. Not very interesting, but I’m trying to record my data to improve my yields and timing for the future.
I will post the details of the garden progress from the months of June, July & August very soon. I have already harvested many beans, herbs and peppers! The garden work finally slowed down enough, and the weather is too hot to be outside working much anyway, so I am finally catching up posting.
I will update info and add links on all plants grown this year soon. Here are some pics, and a few details, on the garden happenings the last few months. Whew! Too busy to write much now, but check back soon. I welcome any southeastern gardener’s input, or anyone’s thoughts at all. Thanks!
But wait … there’s more!
We used almonds instead of pine nuts in the pesto, and it was incredible. I gave it away as a gift, but had some left over. It was one of the most flavorful and delightful mixtures I have ever tasted. Using many fresh herbs from my garden including Basil, Rosemary, Parsley, and Oregano makes me happy. Yay!
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.
Another major problem this “winter” is the temps have been a balmy 70 degrees all January.
Solution: Indoor Herb Garden!
I brought them inside despite the crazy warm temps, thinking we would have a freeze months ago, but no. The photo below was just for pretty factor the day I brought the first few inside, just before Thanksgiving. They are now growing on a north facing windowsill (with no direct sun).
Herbs add flavor to all kinds of foods and drinks, and as a bonus are known for their medicinal properties. The parsley below was delicious in this chimichurri steak recipe.
Parsley is not the most flavorful herb, but adds a unique and understated flavor when combined with other ingredients.
I am working on a post about the Garlic and Onions I planted in the raised beds. We use so much of both that I knew I must grow some this year. I am experimenting with winter gardening for the first time in the raised beds. We are fortunate to have many warm months to garden here in Georgia. However, I hope we get a little winter here soon.