Thursday, June 12, 2014

Garden Experiments

Edibles everywhere. That was my goal for this year.  If I wanted color in a garden, I looked for an edible that would fit the bill.  I am sure there is much more out there, but it is a start.  Everything was started from seed.  

The experiments for the year:
  • Tri-color pole beans on one trellis with rattlesnake and purple pole beans on the other.  To be picked young for eating. Question: How with they look and will my family eat them?
Experimental pole beans - color? taste?
  • Scarlet runner beans were added to the edges of both of those trellises as a border of color.  These were purchased for the flower color and then, hopefully, dry and eat the beans as well.
  • The scarlet runner beans were also added to two trellises in a focal garden on the side of the house
  • Ruby Swiss Chard was added along the front edge of another garden to add a nice contrast of color to the rock border.  Picked small, chard is very tender and cooks up and tastes like spinach.
  • Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes are on two focal trellises to climb and add a pop of red and green. 
  • Red Sails lettuce was placed along the front border of my little pond on the north side of the house - hoping it will last longer there with some shade and coolness; it is a pretty contrast of color to all the green there as well.
  • Lettuce surrounds front border of pond
  • An assortment of hot peppers were grouped along south-facing brick wall.  They are supposed to like it hot, and that is the hottest spot of the yard.  They are also a red fruit which will be a pretty pop.
  • Parsley and basil line a garden path.
  • The biggest project was the addition of two 4x12 raised beds built within the confines of the old swingset area.  These are planted completely in vegetables.

Watch for a post on the creation of these beds
The remainder of the vegetable and flower gardens are pretty much status quo.  I have several dedicated garden beds, both raised and "in the ground".  I also have a patch of garden surrounded by the driveway which is predominately perennials but I plant my jalapenos along the perimeter there for the heat.  Along one of my fences, I plant a few tomatoes in buried pots filled with compost; they are trained along the fence for support. A whiskey barrel next to the house has an early tomato and 4 Swiss chard.
Keep picking the chard to keep it small and producing