Thursday, February 5, 2009

Overkill

The new veggie bed is still resting under a few inches of snow. It's not very big at about 50 square feet. Because it's a lasagna-style raised bed layered with good stuff like shredded leaves, grass clippings, and all kinds of yummy compost, it will be planted densely. Still. . . maybe. . . possibly. . . I might have gotten a bit carried away with seeds, even if the vining plants are trellised. What do you think? Maybe a little overkill?

There are two kinds of squash: Kuri and Lakota, four tomatoes: Chadwick Cherry, Black Krim, Rutgers, and Brandywine, and four peppers: an orange, a red, a chocolate, and of course, jalapeno.

And what would a spring garden be without a couple varieties of radishes, a few lettuces and mixed greens, a couple varieties of beets, and some peas?

Then of course, you must have cukes, beautiful chard, and some nice spinach. And there's nothing in the world like home-grown green beans. Bush beans were chosen for this small garden - Blue Lake are the same bush beans Mom used to plant - very tasty and heavy-yielding. Oh, and I almost forgot - the veggie bed became official with life-changing garlic cloves from Mom's garden last fall.

How about you? C'mon, 'fess up now! Do you ever get just a teeny-weeny little bit carried away when it comes to seeds?

28 comments:

  1. Maybe a bit for the area. But you can always companion plant and successive plant. Have fun with it. I've been known to get carried away too.

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  2. Linda, I don't know a thing about vegetables...but I do think that intensive gardening works. On the other hand...I have seeds from two years ago that are sprouting so their 'sell by date' is not always accurate.


    The bed looks all snug under the snow blanket! Especially nice on those days with deep freeze weather that your part of the garden gets. Surely warmer days are coming!

    Gail

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  3. Hi Linda, well if you only plant one of each thing! HA Tina's suggestion of succession planting will work for some of the stuff. Next thing up, enlarge the bed!
    Frances

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  4. LOL, Linda, and I thought I had gotten carried away with seeds! You might have to try some of those suggestions for small-space gardening with trellises and the like.

    I have been sent several different varieties of seeds from dear blogging friends, participated in a seed swap, and keep buying just "one more package" at the garden center every time I go in. On top of that, I still have a few I want to order...and those are just the flowers, not the vegetables! It's like the old saying about the eyes being bigger than the stomach:)

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  5. Hmm. I'd look into putting some plants elsewhere. You can easily grow quite a lot of those things mixed in with ornamentals. Good luck!

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  6. Two words: Succession planting!

    Your lasagna bed looks a little like a lasagna noodle, too, with the scalloped edges.

    This is the time for dreaming and scheming about the garden, for sure.

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  7. Maybe just a little bit Tina! Can you tell I've missed having a vegetable garden?! I'm like a kid in a candy store with all these seeds.

    Good morning Gail, I definitely won't be using all these seeds in one season! I've found they can often last for several years depending upon they're stored.

    Hi Frances, that's what I"m thinking too. . . if I plant one of each! LOL! I can enlarge the bed a few more feet longer and probably will do that in the fall. In the meantime, succession planting, companion planting, container planting, and borrowing square-foot gardening ideas will all help maximize the space.

    Hi Rose, um, well, I might have gotten just a little carried away! I'll definitely be incorporating every small-space gardening trick I know! My eyes are definitely bigger than my garden!

    Hi EB, if only I had more sun! Other than the front lawn, that small side yard is the only spot with enough sun for most veggies. In my last garden I didn't even have a separate veggie bed - all the veggies were planted right in with the ornamentals in the sunny beds.

    Hmmm. . . the front lawn. . . nope, the Lawn Man would never go for that!

    Hi Jared, you're right - it does look like a lasagna noodle!

    It's going to take every trick in the book to maximize this small space.

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  8. Mel Bartholomew's square foot gardening comes to mind.

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  9. Hi Donna, I'm definitely incorporating square-foot gardening ideas in this small space - no grids though.

    I've always had more veggie space in the past, and planted in raised rows and hills. This will be a new experience. I'm looking forward to the challenge of maximizing this small space.

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  10. You can never have too many seeds! And think of all the beneficial bugs you're going to have to fight off the invaders. It's going to be great. I want to try lasagna gardening in our new beds. We only have a reel mower so no shredding them that way. Would a weed wacker work?

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  11. Carried away with seeds you ask? I was in store two days ago and saw the seed stand and picked up two packets. The next day I was back at same store for something and came home with 6 more packets of seeds. I wonder how many I will come home with on the next trip. Stay Warm...

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  12. Hi Melanthia, yep, that's what I say - never too many seeds! This is my first attempt at lasagna gardening - I'm very curious to see how well it works, and hope it will be broken down enough to plant this spring!

    We have a mulching mower and it does a pretty good job. Our leaf blower also works as a leaf shredder, and some of the leaves in the bed were shredded that way. A weed whacker might work too, especially if you don't try to chop up too much at a time. Even whole leaves would probably break down just fine in a layered bed, just might take a bit longer.

    If the leaves are nice and dry your little guy might even help chop them up if you turn him loose to play in a pile of them!

    Hi Skeeter, it's hard to resist, especially when they're on sale! I got most of the seeds (packaged for 2009) on sale late last fall. Even though I probably have twice what I need, I only paid 1/2 price for them. ;)

    We're looking forward to a heat wave this weekend - might even hit 50 degrees on Saturday! I'll believe it when I see it - it's about 15 degrees here now.

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  13. Overkill? Naw, never! Okay, I admit that I have a tendency in the winter think that my garden is much bigger than it actually is.

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  14. My dear Linda, you made a lovely commnet on my blog, but that post crashed my blog. I had to remove that post :( including comments :(

    I still have tone of seeds from my obsession 4 years ago - they are still OK and sprouting.
    This year however I have something special - I got the seeds of alpine strawberry from a fellow blogger in Holland. I am very excited!

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  15. MMD, no such thing as overkill, right! You can always squeeze in one more thing!

    Hi Ewa, oh my, I'm sorry you had to delete that post - it was wonderful. The pictures were beautiful. I love Japanese gardens!
    Enjoy your delicious strawberries! Those tiny ones have the best flavor.

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  16. Lol, I'm looking at my shoebox full of seed packets right now. Yep! ;)

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  17. A SHOEBOX Racquel! Is it full? I feel much better now! Hope you have a wonderful weekend enjoying the spring weather in your garden.

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  18. I guess the question of whether you have too many seeds depends on one's perspective. Based on my food tastes, yuo DO have too many squash (which I can take or leave) seeds, but NOT ENOUGH tomatoes or peppers (more, more, more!)... LOL! :) I bet you have just the right amount for your garden. And you know, you don't have to plant every seed in each packet; just a few of each kind. That's what I did this year winter sowing, and it feels good! :)

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  19. Hi Monica, I'm not a big fan of most squash, don't like summer squash at all. Butternut used to be my favorite until I tried Kuri a couple of years ago. It's absolutely delicious. I think Lakota is a lot like like Kuri, so that one's an experiment.

    The last time I planted Rutgers, I had three plants, and about twice a week I brought a humongous bowl of tomatoes to work to share with coworkers. I'm thinking about getting a dehydrator to preserve some of the extras, but of course I don't want to count my tomatoes before they're harvested. :)

    For the rest of the stuff, I hope to combine succession planting and limiting how much of each type of seed I plant. I'm determined to try them all. And who knows, it's not too late to get more seeds!

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  20. Hi Garden Girl,
    Came across your site from a link thru a link..great how that happens! I thought I was going overboard with my seed purchases..you win! I'm always tempted to start them way before the suggested time just so to feel productive. My safe date to start is still a month away...can't wait! Enjoying your posts,
    Lynn

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  21. Ohhhh yes! Well, it's my hubby who does the veggie garden now that he's retired, but we always forget that it's just the two of us now, and plant for the whole neighborhood (or so it seems). You should see all the squash he grows...and all those other veggies you list as well (except hot peppers) :) Those bush Blue Lake beans are wonderful!

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  22. Hi Lynn, yep, we still have a month or so here too before it makes sense to start some seeds. I'm really looking forward to getting the new veggie bed underway!

    Hi Kerri, lucky you that your husband gardens too! I'm not real big on hot peppers either, but I LOVE jalapenos.

    Mom has lots of trellises and grows pole beans now in her huge garden. She used to grow bush beans when I was a kid, and I've always loved those Blue Lake beans. Ever since I've had a veggie garden of my own, I've grown them. I think they're just as good as pole beans, VERY productive, and they're perfect for my miniature veggie garden!

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  23. I forgot to mention--beets, yum! What varieties? I LOVE beets--they make a nice salad with chopped tomatoes and blue cheese (or feta) with a little Greek dressing. Oh, man! And trying a bit of everything is optimal--how else will you discover what you LOVE? Besides, I'm sure your coworkers are only to happy to eat any extras. You may recall how the @#$%^ groundhog ate all my leafy veg last spring? I decided to do a raised bed--maybe in an old drawer on my potting table. It won't be huge (and groundhogs can climb, but I'm hoping it's more limited to trees and not narrow legs of things). Anyhoo, I've got mesclun mix and swiss chard 'Rainbow' seeds ready, and I want to get some spinach, too. YUM!!!! And finally (yes, I'm almost done), have you investigated square-foot gardening? Apparently you can get a lot in a little space, just like you're saying. Looking forward to updates!

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  24. Hi Monica, I love beets! (the lawn man. . . not so much!) Even the tops are delicious, and rich in A, B, and C vitamins too.

    I have seeds for Cylindra (6-8" long, about 2" diameter, and Detroit Dark Red.

    I plan to use some of the principles of square foot gardening, but I'm not using a grid. According to SFG's author, it's not a 'real' SFG if you don't use the grid/dividers. I don't like rules, and while I think the SFG concept makes a lot of sense, I don't think its necessary to be as rigid in following the 'rules' as as Mr. Bartholomew insists. I guess I'll find out!

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  25. LOL, I don't like rules either--I definitely meant the concept not the Exact Process(tm)! :)

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  26. Looks as if you could do with birthday candles in that bed!

    Esther Montgomery

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  27. Hi Linda! Thanks for the comment on my blog and for the add to your blogroll!
    I feel the same way, since the seeds started to appear at the stores/garden centers, I quietly picked up a couple here...a couple there...until all of a sudden I looked at all I had (plus a ton left from last year) and all the earmarked pages in the beautiful seed catalogs and...I had to step away for a spell.
    So...we'll see what happens!! I'm definitely implementing some SFG techniques this season, making the switch from 2 long traditional raised beds to 4x4 beds and a couple smaller ones that I have visions of teepee style trellises for beans/cukes to grow on. We'll see how it works!!

    Looking forward to reading your blog and getting great tips and ideas!

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  28. Hi Amy, it was great finding your blog, and I'm looking forward sharing veggie-growing adventures.

    Hopefully I'll find it much like riding a bike, with the added benefit of seeing how so many others are doing it via their blogs.

    It will be interesting to see what creative methods small-space gardeners are coming up with to maximize their gardens' productiveness.

    Right now I'm especially enjoying watching what other people in warmer zones are doing via the blogs so I can plan my strategy here!

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