My garden this year is quite a bit larger than it was last year, and I have taken a slightly different approach. I still have my square foot garden boxes, but I feel there are better ways to grow some crops.
First of all, there are a few plants, primarily those which can easily get unwieldy, which I have chosen to plant in pots.
Mint – I am mainly growing this because of its ability to deter some bad pests. It is also good in salad or to just chew on.
Chocolate Mint – This is grown for the same reasons as the regular mint, but it smells so much better. Like chocolate and mint. Crazy, I know. It tastes pretty good too.
Rue – This herb was planted with no intention of eating. It is supposedly a great deterrent for Japanese Beetles, which we often have issues with.
Next, I have my Square Foot Garden Boxes.
First of all is spinach. I have two squares of this; one of them is being eaten up by something, the other is fine.
Broccoli – I cannot wait until this is ready!
Update: Look at this broccoli coming along! We may eat this bunch tomorrow!
Jimmy’s White Cucumber – A kentucky heirloom cucumber that has a light, refreshing taste. This will be the only cuke I grow next year.
More lettuce – two types. Also some green onions in the background.
Stevia – I am anxious to see how this does throughout the summer. Right now I have noticed it takes more water than other things do. It is great in salads in small quantities too.
Rosemary – I am growing two varieties, one of which smells like grilled food. Strange, I know. I only planted this because of its natural tendency to deter bad pests.
More lettuce. This is Buttercrunch (right) and Romaine (left).
Chinese Cabbage – honestly, I don’t even know what to do with this when it grows. My wife and I wanted to try it though.
My tomatoes and peppers are being grown using the same plan my wife’s grandmother has used for years. The mixture of black plastic, fertilizer, and lime make a superb growing area for these plants. I have to admit though, I wish I had went all organic. Next year I intend on following this same plan, but using compost instead of fertilizer. Here is a picture of the whole tomato and pepper garden:
And updated in July 2010:
Here are a few tomato plants that were started late. I guess these will be my late tomatoes. The black containers are Depp’s Pink Firefly Tomatoes and the purple containers are Cherokee Purple Tomatoes.
Cherokee Purple – Yes, I did get one Cherokee Purple Tomato planted already. I have high hopes for this. I just hope it lives up to my expectations.
This is a Black Zebra Tomato. It is a cross tomato that has been stabilized. It is supposed to produce dark red and green striped fruit. The taste is supposed to be smoky, yet sweet. I cannot wait!
Sioux Tomato – Another heirloom variety.
Black Cherry Tomato – This is another one that I have high hopes for. I like the small cherry tomatoes and the strong taste of the dark tomatoes. It sounds like a match made in heaven.
JetStar Tomato – As one of my friends once said, “This is the best Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Tomatoes there are!” :-)
The Jet Star looks like it is going to be the first to give a ripe tomato. Look at these little green things coming along!
One of my JetStar plants is really having problems with blossom-end rot. I have some other tomatoes suffering from this to, as well as some peppers. It seems to be a calcium deficiency, but the way I do my garden, it is hard to treat this now. I am losing about 75% of the tomatoes off of this plant.
Basil – I really don’t need more basil, but it is supposed to be a good complimentary crop alongside tomatoes.
Champion II VFNT – To be honest, this is only being grown because it was sent to me by mistake.
Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato – Just a hybrid cherry tomato. This should put out a lot of cherry tomatoes pretty early.
Thai Basil – Like the regular basil, this was primarily planted as a complimentary crop.
Black Prince Tomato – This is a tomato from Siberia. It is supposed to have a great, rich taste. I cannot wait to try it!
Black Pear Tomato – Look at the leaves on this one, they are called potato leaves as opposed to typical tomato leaves.
Cinnamon Basil – Like the other two basils, this was planted for the complimentary crop benefits.
Grape Tomato – Like a large cherry tomato. This was from my father-in-law.
Old German Tomato – This is supposed to be a red and yellow tomato that is a great slicing tomato. It is a Mennonite heirloom.
Green Sausage Tomato – This is another one I really didn’t intend on planting, but it was given to me. I don’t have real high hopes for this one. Update: this plant is also cursed with blossom-end rot. We haven’t had a tomato yet that wasn’t affected on this plant.
Hot Peppers – I am growing hot peppers all the way from the typical jalapeños and cayennes to the habaneros and bhut jolokias. Mmm!
Bhut Jolokia – The world’s hottest pepper. This thing will make jalapeños look like candy!
Naga Morish – The almost as equally wicked cousin to the Bhut Jolokia.
Chocolate Habanero – This is one hot pepper too, but nothing like the two above. I grew this one last year and really liked it.
Sweet Peppers – There are bells, Italians, Pepperoncinis, and several others here. I am eagerly awaiting these for breakfast.
Hershey’s Chocolate (Brown Bell Pepper):
Red Bell Pepper:
Giant Marconi – this is one of my favorites!
Red Marconi – another one of my favorites!
Tennessee Cheese – Another one of my favorites! I love this pepper! Doesn’t it look like a tomato?
Marigolds – These are also planted as a complimentary crop for the tomatoes and the peppers.
We also have six rows of beans or peas. In this mix we have Sugar Snap Peas, Rattlesnake Beans, Kentucky Wonder Green Beans, and three other heirloom bean varieties. Yes, I know the rows aren’t evenly spaced. There is a story here, but I am not getting into it right now.
We have been fortunate this year to have strawberries to eat from my Father-in-Law’s house, but we knew that wasn’t going to satisfy us, so we have planted our own Strawberry Patch around an old stump. Notice the Rue pot in the middle to keep away the beetles.
Last fall I put out three garlic patches: the one you see here and two others. This one is an heirloom variety that is traceable to a farm in Kentucky. I cannot wait to try this. You will notice the plants in between the garlic — that is radishes.
There is a little more, including watermelons, okra, and a few other herbs. Maybe I’ll get pictures of those later.