Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The garden

Yesterday I finally got our garden plot set up for the season!

This is my second year being part of a St. Paul community garden, which means that I pay a nominal fee for the use of a flat patch of dirt. There are about 50 people who are part of our community garden, and there are a bunch of gardens like this around Minneapolis and St. Paul. It's a perfect set-up for people who would like to garden but don't have a yard.

This is the second consecutive late spring in Minnesota, and with a frost threat lingering as recently as two weeks ago, I got another late start this year. (Despite that, the plot's production still surpassed my expectations last year - with the exception of the carrots - so I hope that will prove true in 2014, too.)

Last year we planted two large tomato plants and one cherry tomato plant, lots of basil, green beans, cucumbers, rosemary, sage, and lots of peppers. The basil and green beans were the only projects that I started as seeds. I loved the tomatoes, herbs and green beans. (The tomatoes were out of control in a great way.) The cucumber plant produced two cucumbers and then decided to be done for the season, the peppers were a little lackluster (with the exception of the poblanos), and I did end up with more basil than I wanted, if you can believe that.

So I kept the plan pretty similar to last year, with a few tweaks. So far, I've planted:
  • two large tomato plants and one cherry tomato plant
  • two basil plants from seed
  • a long row of purple beans, with enough room to plant another row in two weeks to stagger production
  • several onions (surplus from another St. Paul gardener!)
  • a row of lettuce
  • a jalapeno pepper plant, with plans to probably add a poblano
  • a couple of bunches of Swiss chard
  • sage and oregano, with plans to add rosemary
  • some climbing, flowering beans that my mom gave me that will hopefully grow up the fence adjacent to the back of my plot
I also made a slight change to the plot's layout. Each plot like ours starts as two rectangles that are parallel to each other. Because we keep the same plot from year to year as long as we want, some of the gardeners have converted the little path between the two rectangles into more garden. I decided to do that with the back of the plot, so my little garden is now an upside-down U shape.

Here's last year's garden in August:

And here we are this year on Day 1, May 26, starting all over again:

I am excited to see what happens this year. 

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