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Spacing in Raised Beds

We planted many of our spring vegetable seeds last week, and I planted a few more this week. Mostly beets (Red Ace & Chioggia), carrots (Yellow Sun), and some Asian greens (mustards).

After looking at what we planted several times last week, and then measuring the space between the rows, I decided to plant a couple more rows in between what was already planted.

The seed packets for the beets and carrots said to plant with 12-18″ between the rows, and we left 18″. Usually I’m an advocate for following directions and spacing things appropriately. After all, planting your tomatoes too close together is a recipe for disaster. But…there really is no reason that beets and carrots need that much space. Their leaves grow mostly upright, and the roots will not spread out to 9″ on either side of the row. Really, they won’t. The only thing that much space gets us is more weeds to pull out from between the rows when the plants are still tiny. Any extra moisture the additional rows will use will be countered by the fact that the closer spaced rows will shade the soil and prevent evaporation.

So…one more row of Red Ace beets (After 23 years of eschewing beets, in the last few years I’ve decided that they are one of my favorite vegetables). Also, two more rows of Yellow Sun carrots, interplanted with the rest of the Cherriette radishes. The idea of interplanting is that the radishes will mark the row for the carrots and keep the weeds down while the carrots are working on their slow germination process. Then the radishes are harvested and the carrots can take over the space! I’m going to be interested to see how this particular space saving technique works out.

I can tell you one thing though…we are going to have a bumper crop of radishes in the Family of 4 Garden this year!

Family of 4 Harvest

I’m actually attending a conference in Portland, Oregon this week, so I don’t have any updated pictures. The other posts you are seeing this week are things I wrote before I left. I may post about some of the horticultural interest I see here, but we’ll see how busy I am at the conference!

Here’s the Family of 4 Harvest for the week:

1 1/2 lbs peppers @ $1.59/lb = $2.39
2 yellow bell peppers @ $2.00 each = $4.00
2 bunches Swiss Chard @ $2.00 each = $4.00

Weekly Total = $10.39
Yearly Total = $290.51

We are inching toward the $300 mark! I have no doubt that we will easily surpass that mark once we start harvesting fall vegetables!

Family of 4 Garden Update

July 23 006Just a quick update to let you know what’s going on in our Family of 4 Garden this week. We harvested 2 tomatoes on Tuesday  totally 12 oz. (1 each of Fabulous and First Light) We also picked another pound of peppers and pulled a bunch of carrots.

This morning I went out for a stroll around the garden and discovered that there are 4 First Light tomatoes ready to pick, and 1 Fabulous! (+1 First Light thathas been munched on by a squirrel or rabbit.) The tomatoes are coming on just right for display at Tomato Day this weekend. We won’t pick those tomatoes until after the event is over.

Anyway, the harvest to date brings us up to $118.84 for the year.

Family of 4 Garden Tour

I thought I’d give you a tour of our Family of 4 garden, since it can be hard to patchwork all my pictures and posts together into a clear picture of what’s been going on.

Family of 4 Garden, May 5

Here’s the overview of the garden. It is looking pretty well full. We took the row cover hoops out, again. Hopefully they stay out this time!

Beet seedlings

The beets and carrots are growing well.

Onions May 4The onions are finally looking good and growing quickly.

Brussels and CauliflowerThe Brussels sprouts and cauliflower have finally moved beyond the “ugly” stage!

Tomatoes and cabbageWe planted the tomatoes today! We are using this tomato “teepee” rather than cages. It is just two cattle fence panels clipped together at the top. It will be interesting to see how it works. It did require a bit of adjustment to the planting plan, so the herbs will be planted in the open space between the tomatoes and Brussels sprouts rather than in amongst the tomatoes. (The cabbage you see in the picture were planted during a demonstration…I haven’t had the heart to yank them out yet.)

The tomato varieties planted were ‘First Light’ and ‘Fabulous’. They are both relatively new varieties.

Mmm...Salad!

The salad greens, lettuces, and radishes are looking delicious! Next week we may decide to pull up some of the salad greens to plant peppers. Or we may just plant the peppers in between the rows for the time being!

Ready, Set, Plant!

It was a busy morning out in the Sedgwick County Extension Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden!

We started by pulling some weeds and then incorporating compost into two of the beds where we would be seeding.

A MG digs compost into the wheelchair accessible garden.

A MG digs compost into the wheelchair accessible garden.

Then, some very dedicated Extension Master Gardeners laboriously planted the tiny seeds so as not to waste too many.

Lettuce Seeds

Lettuce Seeds

Planting Swiss chard, beets, and carrots in the Family of 4 Garden.

Planting Swiss chard, beets, and carrots in the Family of 4 Garden.

We planted ‘Sparkler’ and ‘Easter Egg’ Radishes, Encore Lettuce Mix, Elegance Greens Mix, and ‘Majesty’ Lettuce in the Salad Garden.

In the Family of 4 Garden, we planted ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss Chard, ‘Touchstone Gold’ Beets, ‘Chioggia’ Beets, and ‘Round Romeo’ Carrots. We also planted ‘Bright & Spicy’ Salad mix, ‘Mottistone’ Lettuce, ‘Berenice’ Lettuce, and Sweet Reds & Greens Lettuce Mix. We planted two ‘Cheddar’ Cauliflower plants to replace some of the Brussels Sprout plants.

We also seeded ‘Safir’ Cutting Celery in the tomato block. We maybe should have started it inside and then transplanted it outside…we’ll see how it does. At this point, the only thing yet to be planted in the Family of 4 garden are the tomatoes, basil, fennel, and cilantro. Those should all get planted about 3 weeks from now.

Then, after the lettuces and radishes are done in May, we’ll plant the squash in that space.