Monthly Archives: April 2017
This is the final post looking at what we are planning to do in the Demo Garden this year. From here on out, we will be looking at what’s already been growing while I’ve still been catching up on the garden planning posts.
Most years we do either flowers or herbs in the containers. This year we are planting a mixture of vegetables, herbs, and flowers in all the containers. Hopefully they will be both productive and attractive!
Most of the containers have been planted to lettuces, radishes, peas, and pansies for the spring time. Over the next several weeks, they will be giving way to the summer plantings which include tomatoes, peppers, herbs, eggplant, basils, chard, zinnias, begonias, and much more. Here’s a look at the plans for a couple of the different areas.
One thing that I think will be very interesting to see is the On the Deck Sweet Corn variety. It was developed for containers, but usually small plantings of corn do not pollinate well. It will be one of the the unique things to see for sure.
Just for fun, here’s a picture of one of the container groupings in the spring planting layout.
We are almost done surveying the garden plans for this year. After this post, there are just the containers and the Prairie Star areas to talk about.
Beds 8, 9, and 10 are the square, 4’x4′ beds along the back edge of the garden. For several years, Bed 8 has been designated as our perennial herb / kitchen herb garden, and that continues this year.
The winter was a bit of a challenge and we lost some plants out of this garden. We also discovered this spring that the usually well-behaved Pineapple Mint has run amok all over the bed. So this map is more of a suggestion than reality. We have planted some cilantro already, since it is the Herb of the Year being featured at Herb Day. We will also plant the basil and lemon verbena once it’s warmer.
Beds 9 and 10 don’t have any fancy maps. Bed 9 continues to be where our ‘Cascade’ Hops are planted. Hops have a reputation as vigorous growers with large vines. Our plant was rather small last year, as a new planting.
This year….not so much. Yes, this picture is what the plant looks like RIGHT NOW. It is already grown well over the top of the tomato cage. Ideally, we would figure out a better trellising system for it. However, we’re probably not going to keep it in the garden past next year, so there’s no good reason to do that.
In Bed 10, we have planted a new variety of globe artichoke, ‘Colorado Star,’ which is supposed to have a shorter days to maturity, making it more likely to be successful here. The flower buds, which are the edible part, are purple on this variety.
Supposedly, for best production, the plants are supposed to be subjected to several days of colder temperatures after transplanting to mimic a “winter” season. At least the weather is kind of playing nice for that purpose! We’ll just have to wait and see if it works.
Last year, we planted a lot of tomatoes, cucumbers, and other warm season veggies in the accessible beds. This year, we swung the other way and have planted (and already planted) a wide variety of cool season vegetables.
In the tiered garden, we removed the raspberry that really hadn’t done much. I think it needed more sun that in that location. We opted for swiss chard and a kale mix for spring planting in the two lower tiers, intending for those crops to grow through most of the summer. Then the kale will be replaced with a red veined spinach in the fall. We will replant the chard if needed.
The center tier will have two tomatoes and two basils. The ‘Little Napoli’ was a variety that did well last year and we wanted to try it again. ‘Patio Princess’ is a new compact dwarf that is supposed to have up to 4 oz. fruit.
The two barrel planters and the salad table are also featuring cool season vegetables this year. The larger barrel planter is planted to spinach and a green, Italian sprouting broccoli for the spring. It will have purple kohlrabi and orange carrots for the fall.
The smaller barrel planter is planted to a variety of pea called ‘peas-in-a-pot’ that is supposed to work well in containers. In the fall, we are trying “Kalettes,” which are a cross between brussels sprouts and kale. They have shoots/sprouts along the stem like brussels sprouts, but they are open florets rather than mini-cabbages.
In the salad table, we have radishes, green onions, and mixed lettuce for the spring. The cutting celery and parsley will grow through the summer (we hope!), and then the other veggies will be replanted for the fall.
Just because you are growing in smaller planters doesn’t mean you need to skip trying out the weird stuff!