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!
I had some old container trays that I recycled & brought home from Cofer’s when I worked there last year. They have drainage holes and are perfect for starting seeds, but any container with drainage holes can be used.
I transplanted from the seed trays into recycled 4 pack trays on Sept 4th. I mix 1/2 organic mushroom compost, 1/2 organic topsoil, & add Espoma Plant Tone. Mix these together well, and transplant seedlings. They stay in that soil mix until they are ready for transplanting into the raised beds.
I started the first round of seeds in mid August, but had a slugtastrope & had to plant more seeds. I now move the baby seedling trays onto the deck at night to avoid slugs. This fall, I planted Broccoli, Kale, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Collards & Cauliflower in seed trays.
Some types of veggie seeds achieve best results by direct sowing them into the place they will grow until harvest. This past week, I direct sowed carrots & radishes.
New posts coming soon about the expanded garden bed construction, summer harvests & more fall planting details. These babies are almost ready to go into the ground! I will likely plant them around end of September.
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.
Take stock of your seeds or supplies, and see what you want/need for the upcoming year. Our last average frost is April 15th, so I usually wait until then to plant my raised beds. Now is a great time to plan for & plant seeds indoors for your spring and summer veggie garden.
2. Seed starting vs buying plants
3. Container gardening.
ALWAYS HAVE DRAINAGE HOLES IN CONTAINERS
4. Raised beds.
My beds are 3’ x 8’. I have 3 wood beds. Leave bottom open to native soil-no landscape fabric wanted. Untreated wood for edibles
Dirt is ⅓ native soil, ⅓ soil conditioner, ⅓ compost-I like mushroom compost. Add in an organic fertilizer like Espoma garden tone when you build the soil. Can also use a pre mixed soil, or straight compost. Plant dwarf or smaller varieties.
Fertilize throughout the seaon. I like organic fertilizer for many reasons but here are three:
Better for plants- slower release, no burning, slower more even growth and better plants
Better for people-natural fertilizer creates tastier vegetables hands down, no chemical concerns
Better for the environment-only use what you need, and not more. Then the excess does not run off into the streams, rivers and lakes, and create problems.
5. Responsible Pest Control
Encourage good stewardship and organic gardening and pest control where possible. Pick them off, or spray with water as 1st pest control method. Always read the instructions thoroughly before treating anything
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 planted pea seeds of several different types this year- Snow Peas, Oregon Sugar Pod, Sugar Daddy, and Super Sugar Snap Peas, in Raised Organic Garden Bed #2, on March 2nd, 2018-
The Snow Peas produced the best this time. I harvested the 1st peas on May 10th. It was 69 days till harvest, and the packages said 68. Even with the weather being so dry and warmer than usual, they still produced a gallon size freezer bag full so far. The snow peas produced a few more pods over the last weeks of May, but very few compared to earlier in the season.
I harvested Snow Peas that I planted from seeds sold by Lake Valley Seed Company. Every other day or so over a couple weeks I harvested pods, and added them to a freezer bag in the fridge crisper, lying on a paper towel. Then, I blanched them for about 2 minutes, drained, and put in the freezer.
Then, I ate them a few weeks later, because I could’t resist. They stayed so vibrantly green, and sweet and tasty! Love them!
I had a huge slug infestation this year; I spent a great deal of time cursing & pulling slugs off my plants-mostly the peppers and peas, but there were still plenty left for us to enjoy. It was extremely wet the last few months, and the slugs seemed to have moved on now because of the drier, warmer conditions.
I knew nothing of the history of peas. Turns out they are the longest cultivated crop in history! I found some very useful info about the history of peas at
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!