For the last few years, we have not started our own seeds in the house early in the season. Instead, we have visited a somewhat local nursery a few towns over from us to pickup the plants we will need for the season. Part of this is because of the ever-changing landscape of the backyard and not knowing what we will actually have room to plant.
This year, my mom, sister and I headed there on the Mothers Day weekend. I will be building my mom a large planter and privacy screen for her deck, so it seemed fitting to celebrate her day purchasing plants. Also, they have a fantastic little grill there where we grabbed some lunch, so we really did make a day of it.
Before I could start planting, we had a bit more clean-up to do in the yard. The weeds and grass has started to grow. It wasn’t out of hand, but definitely needed a trim before we could get the plants in the ground. While I started planting in the raised beds, K started weed-whacking the yard and tidying up.
It will be the last year that we will be able to use the strawberry planter. The bricks that I put down in order to stabilize it have sunk into the ground, causing the planter tower to tilt and is now coming apart at some of the seams. One more winter, and I don’t think it will be viable to use any further, which is ok. We are hoping to move everything from that corner next year anyways. The strawberry plants I picked up already have strawberries on them, which is amazing. The last batch I bought lasted two years and provided us an endless supply of large, delicious berries. I am sure that these plants will do the same. You will notice, we had one row of our plants come back again, so those will be the 3rd year with them, we will have to see how their production compares to the new plants. We also added straw to the strawberry tower this year to see if we could help conserve some water, and also reduce the amount of spiders that make those planters home. There was an infestation last year that I would like to avoid this year.
We placed our onions in with the carrot patch. It seemed to work out really well last year, so we decided to keep the same items in that bed. We did also do peas again this year. Just one row along the back of each raised bed, where the netting is setup for climbing.
I grabbed some sweet pepper plants, as well as a couple banana pepper plants. We have switched up our hot pepper plants each year, and have not tried the banana peppers before. K likes the peppers pickled, and banana peppers are always delicious pickled. We started from seed a cucumber, zucchini and patty-pan on the other half of the raised bed.
Now that the barrels are ready and I knew that the planters by the air conditioner would be going in, I grabbed a flat of flowers as well as a few unique additions. I am allowed to pick out the flowers, but K is in charge of planting them as I have a tendency to over-fill the barrels. I added some foliage that will naturally drape down, out of the barrel, to try out. I always like the look of the barrels with the plants spilling out of them, which is why I have a tendency to over-fill them.
My plan had been to make a small herb planter as well as the air-conditioner planter, but I haven’t had a chance to build it yet, so the few herbs I bought will have to wait…hopefully they can wait. I used my cilantro because it wasn’t looking good, but hopefully the rest make it.
Last, but certainly not least, our tomatoes. The towers are still holding strong, and it seems to be the perfect place for the tomatoes. We always have a large harvest all summer, and the plants get to be upwards of 9′-10′. I went with beefsteak and one that will be similar to the orange zinger we liked so much last year. Unfortunately, they didn’t have that one again this year, but had something similar…I just can’t remember what it is called now.
The potato towers will be started this week, we just need to sort out how we want the irrigation run to ensure that K can weed-whack the area. We may dig them in the way we will be doing with our tomatoes. It seems like the best option so far.
The rain has finally come now that the garden is planted, which is great. We have had a very dry winter and spring so far, so the rain is welcome. I can’t wait for these plants to start producing. Home-grown food just tastes so much better than store-bought. I guess it is like everything else you do yourself, the experience of growing it changes the flavour of it.