I have had panorama photos that turned out much better than this one, but it gets the idea across. Things are starting to get a bit unruly down there. Weeding needs lots of attention soon. It’s time to harvest beets and their greens. Soon I will harvest the carrots, followed by the cabbages and then the garlic. By that time I will be getting many red tomatoes.
I still need to plant the green beans I promised my wife.
Okra, Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes, Garlic, Cabbage, Strawberries, Beets, Carrots, Peas, Potatoes, Squash, Watermelons, Zucchini.
I need to plant cucumbers where those peas are, but I’m giving them ONE MORE week before they are evicted.
Above is a modification of a recipe I found online, originally for zucchini sweet relish. I made lots of changes and notes when I wrote down the recipe on the card, but I always kept all the ratios of acidic elements and non-acidic elements essentially the same, so I still trust this as an “approved” canning recipe.
I canned some of this a couple weeks ago and it is truly awesome. It beats any store bought relish I’ve ever had. We had it on buffalo hot dogs with our homemade ketchup.
If you’re going to can this for storage outside the fridge, make sure you know the procedure, as I have massively glossed over the canning instructions here.
My photo did not capture the impressive contrast in this product with white onion, light green cucumber with dark green skin, bright green, red and yellow peppers flecked with brown mustard seeds and black celery seeds. The red is what really makes it fun.
I grew the peppers and cucumbers that went into this, and used onions from our favorite organic farmer. The other ingredients came from the store.
I will be trying a double batch very soon using mostly green tomatoes.
In the kids’ square foot gardens, they are going to have quite a few vining crops. In just the bed for H., there will be Watermelon, Zucchini, Jackolantern and Gourds. Of course I realize that these vines won’t stay in their 4-square-foot space for the next 3 or 4 months, but I will try to keep them in the bed for as long as possible by turning the growing end.
Without looking it up, I couldn’t say for sure why these things are planted in hills. I expect it is because the hill of dirt will warm up quickly in the morning sun and also drain especially well. These are warm loving crops, which is why I will probably have to replant them all.
These pictures were taken last Sunday when we put the seeds in the ground. Today and tomorrow the overnight low temperatures are right around freezing. That will probably kill the just-emerged seedlings from last weekend’s direct-seeded planting. Oh well, I have more time and more seeds. I can’t be upset about a tiny setback like that.
I am adding two new 4 ft x 8 ft garden beds this year, so I decided to let my kids each plant one. I’ll also let our wonderful friend and neighbor, M., plant one of my existing 4×8’s. These children are 8, 6 and 6 years old, so I made them up a planning guide that you see above (and in color below).
I helped them cut out the plant rectangles that are sized to cover 1, 2 or 4 square feet in the bed, and then let them arrange them any way they pleased. So far, two of the three are finished:
Kids' 4 x 8 foot garden plans
Feel free to take this idea and run with it, but make your own. Absolutely all of the pictures in mine were “lifted” gently from Google searches, so I have no permission to use them.
8 ft x 6 ft beds. The lettuce at the top will be planted on/in 20 inch high bales of straw, thanks to a few awesome bloggers who taught me this trick in their posts.
I’m going to do a broccoli experiment this spring. I’ll plant two whole beds of broccoli, one with a closer spacing than the other, all other things equal, and we’ll see how it affects yield:
I’m guessing the bed with 35 plants will outperform the bed with 24, but it’s worth checking. Maybe I’ll be surprised.