A Closer Look: Bed 1 Plans
I am cautiously optimistic that I will be able to go through each bed we have planned and go into more details about the varieties we have chosen and what we will be doing with each raised bed. So let’s kick that off with a closer look at Bed 1!
As we discussed in the general garden plan post, this bed is all about herbs (and some edible flowers)! Very generically, we could say that the green end is culinary, the red end is tea, and the blue is some of each. However, there are obviously some things that can cross over from culinary to tea and back. I’m not going to cover every last detail of each plant, because that would make this post ridiculously long. However, I do want to call out a few specific things.
First, the nematode situation. This bed had root vegetables in it last year, with variable levels of nematodes. The two central square tiers had parsnips all year long, and the parsnips were DISGUSTING on an epic level with their nematode infestations.
As you can see – disgusting – and not very edible. The longer end sections had evidence of nematodes, but weren’t nearly this bad, particularly on the radishes. We spend a long time looking for research papers and articles discussing nematode resistance in herb plants. One thing we found that was interesting was that some herbs – like mint and basil – had just as much root damage from the nematodes, but it didn’t impact their top growth. We found mixed results on things like marigolds, nasturtiums, oregano, marjoram, and salad burnet. So we are going to try all of those directly planted in the soil. The mint will be in pots because, mint.
The lemongrass and the Hibiscus sabdariffa (aka Roselle) will also be grown in very large pots. We will be procuring lemongrass stalks from a grocery store and rooting them to get the best culinary type. And the Roselle is the type of hibiscus that is commonly used for teas.
In the center of each end of this bed we will have some type of trellis, one with a jasmine plant and the other with blue butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea). These are both vining plants with flowers used for teas.
Another plant of interest is the ‘Zloty Lan’ Chamomile – a variety that is supposed to have larger flowers and more robust plants.
Most everything else listed should be fairly straightforward, and we won’t know specific varieties until we are able to purchase the plants from one of our local vendors. I think it is safe to say that we should have a very fragrant and tasty garden in Bed 1 this year!
Friday PhotoEssay – September 25, 2015
It is the last Friday in September, and while the sad appearance of the tomatoes and squash certainly bear this out, it has been warm enough that it doesn’t really seem like fall yet.
We took out a couple more tomato plants this week, and in doing so made an unhappy discovery:
Roots infected with nematodes! UGH! This is actually a pretty bad infestation because the roots are very swollen and knobby. Well, the nematode-free soil was nice while it lasted. As we continue to remove tomato plants, we will keep a close eye on the roots to see how much of a problem it is. It may be confined to just a section of the bed, and we will try to manage it using rotations, non-susceptible plants, and nematode-suppressing plants.
For comparison, the roots on the left/on top of the others are healthy tomato roots. Nice and smooth, slender, and white.
Our Saturday Sampler this past weekend featured a wide variety of recipes made from the Cushaw squash, including this scrumptious pie. Here are the recipes in case you missed them: Winter Squash
These are from the ‘Chef’s Choice Orange’ plants. (Except the one Italian Gold.) The plants look like they are winding down, although I found several hidden tomatoes this morning. Several of the fruit also look like they have some Bacterial Spot, which is a little abnormal for this time of year, but not too surprising given the colder, rainer spells we’ve had. There’s nothing to do about it now, other than use the tomatoes quickly.
If you would have asked me a couple of weeks ago if the Blue Lake Pole bean was going to grow up the trellis, let alone flower and produce beans before it got too cold, I would have called you crazy! But look at this…flowers, and tiny green beans!
Have a great weekend!
I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be happy or sad that the forecast for the next several days is in the mid-80s. Part of me finds that absolutely ridiculous for mid-October, while the other part of me is happy to have a few more warm days to push our fall garden along before it gets cold. Of course, it could go from highs in the 80s to highs in the 50s overnight, so I guess I should be happy with what we’ve got right now!
Happiness about the weather aside, this is not something that I’m at all happy about. A couple of the tomatoes we tore out earlier this week had roots like this one – completely infested with nematodes! It seems like more and more of our planting beds are definitely showing problems with nematodes. That means that we are going to have to think long and hard about planting only nematode-resistant varieties or about trying out some grafting techniques to protect against nematodes.
We also pulled out the remaining gomphrena this week, but not before picking all the good looking flowers to use for a floral arranging class. We had a nice bucket full of flowers.
It always seems to take until late in the season to be able to leave any peppers on the plants long enough to get them to change color. It makes you appreciate why the colored peppers are so much more expensive in the grocery store!
We didn’t have very many of the Easter Egg Radish seeds left for our fall planting, but the few radishes certainly tried to make up for it with size!
This ‘Red Cross’ Butterhead Lettuce is one of the most beautiful lettuces I’ve ever seen. I’m partial to the Butterhead lettuces anyway, but this one is really gorgeous. Between the undulating leaves and and gradient of red to green color, it is a star in our Family of 4 Garden right now.
Enjoy the weather this weekend!