Tending The New Veg Garden

“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” ~ Swami Sivananda

 

Starting seeds can seem like a small act, but the rewards are so big and so many.  And I still marvel at how one small pea seed can give me a huge vine with flowers and pods of joy blooming profusely for months.  As it is April, my thoughts turn to my veg garden, almost half of it already growing in my basement under lights in the ‘Grow Station.’

I usually start the plans for how I am going to structure my veg garden at the end of the veg garden season in October.  I assess how certain veggies, grew, how different varieties performed and how I might change where and how I grow certain crops.

Each of these thoughts leads to small acts….little hugs that help me tend to my veg garden lovingly in the years to come.

 

 

I decided to use a local grower to source the seed of veggies that are hard to grow here due to our conditions and short grow season.  Hudson Valley Seed has a great reputation, and so I am giving them a try for pumpkins, celery, red bell peppers and some tomatoes. 

 

 

So what am I growing this year?  Many veggies besides the list below…but here are the new varieties I am trying:

  • Peas-Magnolia Blossom Tendril (Baker Creek)
  • Tomatoes-Beefsteak (Seeds of Change), Amish Paste (Hudson Valley), Stone Ridge (Hudson Valley), Atomic Grape (Baker Creek), Black Cherry (Baker Creek), Tasmanian Chocolate Container Tomato (Renee’s)
  • Celery-Utah Tall (Hudson Valley)
  • Pumpkins-Long Island Cheese (Hudson Valley), Connecticut Field (Burpee), Mini Harvest Blend (Burpee)
  • Cucumber-County Fair (Seeds ‘n Such), Gherkin Mexican Sour (Seeds ‘n Such)
  • Tomatillo-Purple (Baker Creek), Amarylla (Baker Creek)
  • Peppers-King of the North Red Sweet Pepper (Hudson Valley), Anaheim Hot (Hudson Valley)
  • Green Chiles-Big Jim (Sandia Seed), Hatch Green Medium (Sandia Seed)
  • Greens-Dino Kale (Hudson Valley), Italienischer Lettuce (Hudson Valley), Arugula (Hudson Valley), Ultimate Salad Bowl (Hudson Valley)

 

 

The plans for my veg garden seem to stay the same, in many regards, although I do rotate crops and make a few tweaks once I start planting.  I use 3 large (4×8) raised beds, 2 smaller (4×4) raised beds and one small portable raised bed that is on my patio.  I also use 4 large grow bags, 4 medium-sized grow bags, 3 small grow bags, 2 large containers, and one medium-sized round raised bed all on the patio. 

This year I am spacing out the tomatoes differently so to cut down on foliage fungal diseases that seem to plague my tomatoes every year.  And in the same bed, I am spacing the sweet peppers between the tomatoes but far enough away to give them all ample space to grow.

 

 

I am moving the eggplant to the squash bed to grow against the trellis I use for the zucchini.

 

 

Herbs and sweet peas will be grown in the circular bed so I have more room for pickling cucumbers and the new Mexican sour gherkins in the portable raised bed.

 

 

And I am trying some radishes in rows between the slow-growing garlic to grow even more radishes a bit later than the ones I grow in the small bed with peas. 

 

 

With the cold weather predicted for the first 2 weeks in April, I am delaying my pre-sprouting of the peas and sweet peas.  I did this last year and it gave my peas and sweet peas a great head start.  

 

 

Pumpkins will still be grown up trellises in the garlic bed, and lettuce, beets and carrots under the squash bed trellises.  Onions, hot peppers, tomatillos and some herbs will be grown in grow bags and containers on the patio.

How is your  garden shaping up?  Have you started your veg garden?  What new veggies or flowers are you planting this year?

 

OK these flowers are not from my garden.  Let’s face it, with a cold, gray start to April nothing much is growing that I want to pick yet.  So I bought these flowers at the store.  What a godsend.

 

 

The daffs looked like tulips all closed up.

 

 

I cut a few of the Muscari, and put them in a vase with the Easter decorations that help me think of spring, even when spring is slow to emerge fully here.

 

 

I will be seeing my Muscari soon I hope if we can warm up finally, and dry out a bit.

 

I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful In A Vase on Monday meme. The pictures shared here were created with my iPod Touch camera and two free apps, Pixlr and Prisma.

I am posting poetry, almost weekly on Sundays, on my other blog, Living From Happiness.  You can read my latest poem here.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2018.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

35 comments

  1. Karin Hicks/Southern Meadows says:

    I’m embarrassed to say you are ahead of me with seed starting. I should have started weeks ago but I’ve been spending all my time working in the garden, cleaning up and expanding some beds. I love how you describe small acts as hugs for the vegetable garden. Our kitchen garden is getting a huge hug as part of it is getting a face lift and we are turning it into a mini orchard. The trees are heeling in my raised beds so I am not able to plant them out right now. I have great ambitions for the vegetable garden but it’ll be late this year. You have selected some great veg to grow. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

    • Donna says:

      And you are way ahead of me with clean up and projects. We have not even begun here due to weather. I love the idea of your orchard, and have always wanted to grow my own fruit, but that is a tough one in our climate.

      For me there wasn’t much to do besides starting seeds and I have to start so many so early….and soon I will be knee deep in chores and the veg garden. I can’t wait to see what you have been doing and how the kitchen garden progresses.

  2. Kathy says:

    Exciting Donna! The start of the garden! I am so spoiled to garden all year round. I do have my plans in order for my garden up North and have changed up a bit as this will be my last season in the potager. Sad but true. I am going to look into those grow bags for the lake. As soon as I get back I will set up my seed starting station indoors as I think it will still be quite cool and plant out the cold crops pronto. I have to say I couldn’t get three or five attempts of cilantro to grow up north last year but boy do I have quite the crop here!

    • Donna says:

      I would love to do a bit of gardening year round…..and yes it will be cool here still. We are not warming up to normal temps until at least mid-April. So enjoy your last veg garden in the potager!

  3. Anna says:

    I enjoyed reading about your veggie seed sowing schedule and plans Donna. I’ve only just really got going with seed sowing. So far it’s been flower seeds rather than veggies but will no doubt start on the latter very soon. When you talk of pre-sprouting sweet peas what do you do? It’s been cold here too and so far my germination rate of sweet peas sown in early March has been most disappointing 🙁

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Anna. As far as presprouting goes-I have little containers with lids I saved, but you can use a plastic ziploc bag too. I put a very moist paper towel in the container and place the peas seeds on top of the paper towel. Then I put the lid on and check them daily to see when they begin to sprout…. make sure the paper towel does not dry out. Simple as that.

      They don’t need light to presprout, just a moist atmosphere. I suppose to get them sprouting faster, light would help and in that case you could plant them in little pots, and put them under grow lights too.

      I usually try to sprout them a week to 10 days before I intend to plant them, but with light they will sprout even faster. I have had my only success with sweet peas by sprouting them first.

  4. Kris P says:

    Your vegetable garden is leaps and bounds beyond what I could manage on my site but I’ve transformed what was my veg garden into a cutting garden in any case. The only vegetables I have this year are artichokes, which seem to do remarkably well on, of all places, my neglected back slope.

    I’m glad you found some cheerful daffodils to brighten the house. I hope spring finds you soon!

    • Donna says:

      How nice that you can grow artichokes….I can only dream of those here….but oh all those flowers you grow now…what a harvest!

  5. Cathy says:

    A growing station does sound a good idea, and must be worthwhile for growing so many vegetables. I will wait until it is really warm here and sow my basil and a few flowers outdoors. 🙂 Your daffodils did fool me – I thought they were tulips! I have also treated myself to flowers – tulips – from the supermarket a couple of times before my garden started waking up!

    • Donna says:

      My growing season is too short to plant seeds of many herbs and veggies outside so I do have to start them early. I wish we could plant most outside by seed. I am looking forward to some time that is dry so we can get out in the garden.

  6. Elephants Child says:

    Yum. Our veggie gardens will be lying fallow for a while (with the exception of the few hardy herbs which carry on through winter.
    I am in an orgy of garden preparation for spring bulbs (hundreds of them) which I hope to get in the ground over the coming weeks.

  7. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Yes, I did over look the comment section. As I was saying I like your garden lay out. I would like to have more room for more veg. I am not very good at starting seeds ahead of time. I always think maybe next year. Yet, when I see a garden like yours I want to do it.

    • Donna says:

      Oh thank you Lisa, and for coming back to comment….seeds and seed starting can become obsessive, and so time consuming….once I decide I don’t want to take so much time to do it, I will likely downsize my garden.

  8. Eliza says:

    Looks like a prolific veggie garden is on its way. 🙂 ( I don’t grow veg. as we have a great local CSA, I let them battle the bugs, etc.)
    Like you, there is little in the garden by way of flowers, so store bought are the only way we can get a bit of color. I love muscari, can’t wait for mine to sprout.

    • Donna says:

      I think eventually as we downsize I will also be using our local CSA….but I will have to convince my hubby who loves how we grow our own.

  9. Terri says:

    I’m amazed with your master plan! All those good-sounding veggies make me hungry. I will be on my third year of growing tomatoes in containers, and will pick up seedlings in a couple of weeks.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Beth! I learned I had to be super organized with the veg garden or my efforts would be wasted. I even have it all scheduled in my electronic calendar yearly….can we say obsessed! 😉

  10. Margaret says:

    Thank goodness for all those babies under the lights right now – at least it’s looking like spring inside our houses! I love planning for the garden each year as well, changing things that didn’t work and tweaking those that did. I’m growing a few new things this year too, but have cut back compared to years past when I always went WAY over my seed buying limit. This year I only went a bit over my limit, so that’s progress, right?

    • Donna says:

      Absolutely that’s progress! I am limited by space under the lights and space in the garden and when I run out of containers. Here’s hoping we can plant soon.

    • Donna says:

      The tomatillos have grown great in both my portable bed and grow bags. Easier than tomatoes actually. I start them indoors like tomatoes and plant them out at the same time with tomatoes. The tomatillos also need support and lots of warm sun. They like to dry out between watering, and I found my patio a warmer environment for them.

  11. Annette says:

    Hi Donna, you’re so well organised with your veg garden. I’m afraid I’m a bit spontaneous and perhaps chaotic and suppose my harvest could be doubled if I’d make a proper plan each year but often time is a problem too. Still I love growing veg and always find it magical. Love your vase too, hello spring 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Oh how I wish I could be more spontaneous….with my climate, I have learned to be a bit more scheduled than I would like sometimes. So happy you enjoyed the vase and I am hoping warmer spring weather finally comes as predicted late next week.

  12. Jean says:

    Isn’t it fun to dream about having all those delicious veggies to eat fresh from the garden in just a few months?

  13. Indie says:

    That tendril pea looks so interesting! Most of my seedlings are indoors under grow lights as well. I did start some snow peas outside under row covers when we had warm weather back in February just to see, and surprisingly they are up and doing well! I’ve started a few more things outside under row covers, but we’re back to snow and cold, so who knows? I’m trying a few new veggies this year, like orach and amaranth, which should be fun!

    • Donna says:

      Those new veggies sound interesting. I am anxious to try the tendril peas, and they look gorgeous too. When I try row covers too early they shred in my area…we had over 4+ ft of snow in March so I am not sure my peas would have survived even under a row cover, but who knows. But my peas are all sprouted and awaiting getting into the ground I hope next week as we warm. Hoping your spring shows up soon too!

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