After a week of warmer temperatures and MORE rain, the garden has grown a lot! We also planted some of the warm season plants and plan to plant more this coming week.
The peas in particular have grown significantly and most of them are starting to flower.
Most years, we may have one variety of peas planted in one area. This year we have 5 different pea varieties – one heirloom shelling pea, one snow pea, one sugar snap pea, and two peas for containers. This is the ‘Peas in a Pot’ variety. It is about 10 inches tlal and is already flowering and setting pods.
The sprouting broccoli in the barrel planter is starting to head in the center. Next week we will probably remove that small head in order to encourage development of side shoots. Sprouting broccoli doesn’t form large central heads, but it won’t be very productive if the central head isn’t removed.
The tomatoes were all planted this week, although we are waiting until next week for the peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, and melons. Because of the grafted plants, we couldn’t plant them deeper, resulting in some creative staking to keep the plants upright until the stems have gotten stronger.
We planted this Dragon Tongue Arugula in the Grocery Garden. This variety has highly lobed leaves with red veins. It has proven to be a very slow grower so far and the germination wasn’t great. We will wait and see if it improves with time.
The new Prairie Star Annual trial garden was planted this week too. If you have driven by, you probably saw the row of big containers. These are for demonstrating the Prairie Star Annual Flower trials. We are excited for this new usage of the front of the Demo Garden space. Hopefully this area will be a beautiful color show all summer.
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!
It’s that time again, and since I haven’t updated much in the last couple weeks, I have a lot to show you.
The lettuces are really looking great, while everything else except the perennial herbs are still just barely getting going.
Here’s a closeup look at one of the quilt block lettuce gardens. We’ve had a few casualties, especially of the green variety, so the pattern isn’t perfect, but I think you can see the general idea.
The varieties in the other quilt block garden haven’t grown quite as fast, so it isn’t as full-looking, but you can still see the pattern.
As one sign of how cold it didn’t get this past winter, our flowering sage is still alive. It is also starting to bloom again, which is very odd for this time of year. My guess is that since it didn’t die, it responded to the short daylength of spring by initiating more flowers.
We are also trying out a new salad table this year in the Accessible Garden area. This table top garden is only 5″ deep and is intended for only shallow-rooted vegetables, primarily in spring and fall.
The snow peas, kohlrabi, cabbage, and lettuce in the K-State Purple garden are off to a thriving start. We’ll be filling in with warm season vegetables in the next month.
That’s it for this week! Have a great weekend!
I haven’t written very much yet about our Accessible Garden area because it was still in the process of getting underway. This area is being cared for by residents of Via Christi Village on Ridge and the Master Gardener Horticulture Therapy Committee.
This area has the tiered raised bed and several smaller planters. Here’s the map for the tiered raised bed. The tomato varieties are both super compact container type tomatoes. One of the residents really wanted to have a cantaloupe, so they are going to be growing the ‘Honey Bun’ variety that we tried a few years ago.
This is the larger of the two barrel planters. Right now it has a couple of potatoes in it as well as the remainder of some spinach. There was spinach in the raised bed until this morning, but it was starting to bolt and was covered in aphids (and ants that were farming the aphids). The spinach in this planter is still looking okay.
The smaller barrel planter is planted to green beans. I know, it’s not a very “space wise” thing to do, like I preach all the time. But…part of this area is therapeutic, so high yields aren’t necessarily the first priority.
I suppose I should have posted this at the top. This is what the interior of the barrel planter looks like. We have a publication that has more details and a plan for building the planters: Wheelchair Accessible Gardening.
I’ll keep you updated on this garden area throughout the summer along with the rest of the garden.