Last year I mentioned our garden some. We rent a plot in our local university’s community garden. We had a 15 ft. by 15 ft. plot and it went well enough. There were issues with disease and pests, some our fault for not knowing how to prevent or get ahead of it, some the fault of a lot of neighboring plots doing poor pest control (ahem, zero pest control or weeding.) Since we were good neighbors, and weeded, and mostly kept the bugs at bay, we got to renew, and get a bigger plot. We chose the one behind us, a much larger 30 ft. by 30 ft. plot.
I started planning back in January, and my wish list was much bigger than our budget allowed for. In the end, we settled on these seeds, which we ordered from Baker Creek Seeds and Seed Savers Exchange.
Seed Savers: Lavender, culinary sage, and two cucumbers (one of which is called True Lemon, produces small, yellow striped fruits and should be fun to eat!)
Baker Creek: Cherry tomatoes, Desi summer squash (a variety from India), two varieties of hollyhocks, Chinese chives, radishes, amaranth, pepperoncini peppers, lavender, dill, green beans, snow peas, carrots, Madhu Ras melon (another variety from India), Mizuna (an Asian green that does well with heat), and ground cherries.
If you have never had ground cherry pie, you should try to find it. Some Amish farmer markets carry it. I think it is more common up north than here. In fact, I have no idea if anyone even grows them down here. They are common among Amish and Mennonite gardeners. The plants are like sprawling tomato or tomatillo plants, producing small golden fruits in paper husks. When they fall to the ground, they are ready. The variety I chose is one we had growing up, nice and tart. They should do well in the heat here, maybe even better than they did back home. I hope that we get more than we can use.
Last week we worked in the plot, marking out the flower/herb borders, vegetable beds, and walking paths. I also started some more seeds indoors. (The cherry tomatoes were started several weeks ago.) This week I want to work in compost, lay out straw in the beds and on the paths; plant peas, radishes, carrots, flowers, mizuna; moving the tomato seedlings into bigger pots, and transplanting the oregano from the old plot into the new one. We also need to get a couple of trash cans for use as compost bins, a drip irrigation system, and rabbit wire mesh fencing to set up around the perimeter.
We still want to get a couple of canning/beefsteak tomato transplants and some zinnias to add to the garden. There is a small, 4 ft. by 4 ft. center plot that will host either the calico crowder cowpeas that I’ve tried to grow for a couple of years, or some scarlet runner beans, in a teepee wrapped with rabbit wire mesh.
Most updates will appear on Instagram, @hearthandfield but I will try to do some occasional ones here, too.