Community Garden Visit
The bee and butterfly garden is coming into full bloom, just a few paces away from our garden bed.
I really love working in the community garden, and even more so now that we have our own garden bed. For the first year or two, I didn't really want a bed because I have some garden space in our backyard. But enough beds go idle, or neglected, that I didn't feel bad finally going on the waiting list, and this year, the 3rd year of the garden, we got our bed in the January lottery. It was baked hard in the sun, and needed some TLC, but we dug in (literally) and it's a happy, happenin' little place now.
Low-growing plants dominate this third of our community garden bed, so as not to shade the rest of the bed.
The garden beds were laid out east-west, so that they get full sun along the south all day. Terrific! One of the many tips in the mandatory new-gardener class is to arrange your plants so that taller plants are to the north and east. We followed that advice, putting corn in the eastern third of the garden bed and our tomatoes and peavines along the north edge along the bed.
We wanted a lot of sun for our peppers, and some low vines along the south side of the bed. I'm hoping that the tomatoes and corn will also act to filter some of the hottest sun, so that mid-summer won't fry our peppers. We can always rig some sunscreen, though, if that fails.
An icebox size watermelon may or may not make it: the stem has been half-eaten by those darn pill bugs! We're told that ashes from a wood fire or all-wood charcoal are an effective deterrent for these pests, but found out too late for it to do any good for us.
The eye-catching red of this merlot lettuce gives way to bright green at the base of the leaves, so it looks flashy, not weird, in the salad bowl.
Peas and peppers and beans for the middle!
After a slow start, Cherokee Wax and Blue Lake beans are now thriving in the middle section of the garden. Time to start another row or two of beans or soybeans there, to spread out the harvest.
Happy squash plant!
Just a little gal now, this Big Mama kabocha is a bush-type, rather than vining, winter squash-- ideal for smaller spaces. Of course, I planted two of them too close together, because I thought they were vines. Wups. This is why you should read the packages when you start seeds, not when sorting seed packs after transplanting.
The eastern third of our garden bed: corn!
The last third of our garden bed is mostly sweet corn, with some bush beans and dwarf sunflowers around the edges. There's one gorgeous Purple Queen bush bean plant there, which I neglected to get a picture of this time (wups!) and one or two tiny ones coming up. The pill bugs ravaged them and not all of them made it! There's always a lot to say about corn, so I'll save it for next time. Just remember: it's not too late! You can put in 65 - 80 day sweet corn, or even 90 - 120 day dent corn, all the way into June here in the SF Bay Area's mild climate.