Who would have thought I could really grow a garden in baby pools? In this first picture we have lettuce, onions, watermelons, brussel sprouts, Doggie Tony, potatoes, green beans, corn, zucchini and tomatoes. Not making this pic are sugar peas, which I will never be able to cook as I eat them as soon as I see them forming. So great, and tasty. In another bed are butternut squash and cucumbers, plus a second planting of French haricot vert beans. The potatoes are in large grow bags and for weeks it looked like nothing was happening and then whamo! So I have a bunch more bags in the wings should I decide to get more dirt and have more of a real crop. I will have plenty for this trial/experiment as it is. So if you will recall, the initial investment in this no dig, raised bed garden was around $100, which is by far the least expensive one I have ever attempted. So I am pretty thrilled with how it is coming along. I have four pools and one bed I made from landscape bricks, plus four grow bags in use. Not counting the planters full of basil on the back porch railing. I will take pics of those soon.
Here's the corn field. I knoooooow they are too close together, and will be thinned out but it was such a surprise how fast they germinated (2 days) and appeared in neat rows. I have divided the bed into two parts as tho this will help me know which variety I planted. One is bi-color, and the other is small 7" ears of super sweet, both will be mature in 60 days or so. I have never even tried to grow corn before, in all my years of gardening. But my pal Patsy encouraged me and what the hey? We'll see what happens. I fertilized this bed first, knowing corn is a heavy feeder and will mulch when the plants are thinned a bit.
In another bed, I have more brussel sprouts, bibb lettuce and my four pepper plants. Poblano already forming! All they needed was warmer nights and lotsa rain. Thank God for rain.
Lotsa tomatoes, five on this one plant, Better Bush a determinate variety. Two more indeterminate plants in containers. Alongside them are radishes, the few the rabbits didn't eat. Nothing to write home about but so quick to mature. My beets and rutabage all got eaten too. I could replant for a later harvest when the first round of green beans are over. Luckily we have a really long season here.
When I see 4 packs of lettuce I think, why are they so expensive? and then I buy them anyway. This head of Bibb is gigantic and could feed the neighborhood. I will be making a big salad and some pasta and we will dig in. Next to it are the watermelon vines. I love their leaves and would grow the plants just for them.
A little baby zucchini is forming, and so far no vine borers, which are always a menace. I did find one cucumber beetle, and crushed it immediately. I must be vigilant. We have been blessed (finally) with days of rain, and this morning I walked outside and it was like a steam bath. Hot and wet, so great for the garden.
Out in front in the peony bed, which has been overtaken by all the plants I could squeeze in there, we have had nasturtiums start to bloom. Love these dependable darlings! Also planted here are lots of Wave Petunias, calibrachoa. coneflowers and blue bedder salvia. The lilies I planted will not be blooming this year, except for one, but will store energy and be great next season.
This is the driveway side, and because the nasturtiums here are shorter, the other plants are more visible. A big garden sage is up in front, because it is beautiful as well as a great herb, and then lots more petunias, lobelias, bacopa which recovered from the frost earlier, and in the center, hard to see, are a lot of zinnias, which will fill in shortly.
I have four kinds of hardy geraniums, (aka Cranesbill) and one is spreading out and filling in and engulfing a peony. It has small purple flowers with a black throat and is so lovely. They are perennials and will be great to see returning next spring. I'll be saving their seeds and see if I can get them started in other spots. The more the merrier.
The shady end of that bed has a neat bunch of impatiens blooming under the crepe myrtle. Not in the pic is an ostrich fern bought in a bag from Walmart. It is growing great and I hope to have it spread and fill in the shady spots.
I made a solemn vow to not have so much gardening to do in this house. Yeah, right. But here's the thing. So much of it was already here and I just added to it, sorta. And while I prefer raised beds, growing right in the ground does help with watering, a bit. And now that my retractable hose is hooked up, if and when I do have to water, it is easier than it ever was.