Veg Report: Watcha growin’ this year, Stephen?

Weeellll, how nice of you to ask!

I did get my veggies in the ground this past weekend. For some around here, that’s a bit early; we sometimes get frost as late as May. But I’m hoping the really cold weather is behind us, and even if it isn’t, I’ll find a way to keep the frost away from my tender plants.

I’ve grown vegetables for twenty-something years now, and this is the eighteenth year I’ve been growing them in the same place: same yard, same spot. I rotate where I plant what about every other year, but other than that, this spot works well. Lots and lots of sun. We’ve also got a separate herb garden (where we also grow strawberries), but that’s not worth showing right now, especially since the strawberries are threatening to overrun the joint.

For the vegetable garden, here’s the layout:

Over there on the right are the greens: Romaine lettuce in the front, and red leaf lettuce in the back. In about five weeks, I’ll have more fresh salad makings than I’ll know what to do with. And I like that.

A little to the left of the romaine is radicchio. Radicchio is a little peppery, and it’s a good compliment in a salad to something a little milder, like romaine or iceberg lettuce. Plus, it’s great in alternative dishes like a carrot salad.

Moving left, you’ll see a decent sized open space. This is where I’ve grown green beans in years past. I don’t know if I’m going to do green beans again this year. I still have some in the freezer from last year’s garden. Instead, I think I’ll drop a couple potatoes in there and see what they can do. I’ve had some success with potatoes in the past, and they’re about the easiest thing to grow. Just save a couple of your favorite potatoes (mine are red skin potatoes) from the store until they start sprouting, then plant them. After a couple of months, reach your hand down in the soil near where you planted them, and see if anything is there. Doesn’t take much more than that.

Moving left past the bare space, you’ll see a very small yellow squash plant. This is supposed to grow those small, straight, yellow squashes that are great for a number of things. But my experience tells me that when plants get enough water, they’re usually straight, and when they’re dehydrated, they get a little misshapen. Kinda like me.

Next to the squash are three pepper plants. One is a “lunchbox” pepper, which is supposed to produce little yellow and orange sweet peppers. I’m hoping they produce, but I haven’t grown this one before, so whatever happens, happens. The other two are my favorites: poblano peppers, which are sort of smoky and are great in almost anything.

In the back are our three tomato plants. These are all heirloom tomatoes. According to Wikipedia, “an heirloom tomato (also called heritage tomato in the UK) is an open-pollinated (non-hybrid) heirloom cultivar of tomato”.

From right to left, there’s a cherry tomato plant, that was extremely prolific last year. In the middle is my favorite tomato, the Mr. Stripey. It grows orange, with little yellow stripes, and it is delicious. The other one is a Cherokee Purple, which, once it ripens, is pretty much how it sounds.

I’ve also got an extra planter with arugula and additional radicchio, because I bought too many plants.

There’s no real point in sharing all of this with you, except to keep a record of what I’m growing, and to tell you how exciting it is to plant something, care for it, watch it grow, and harvest it months later.

Taking care of my veggie garden never gets old. What are you growing this year?

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  • Laddie  On April 15, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Rabbits, deer, and weeds have won the battle with any thoughts I have about vegetable gardens anymore. But hope to see some more photos of yours when things are ready to harvest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • StephenS  On April 15, 2015 at 5:45 pm

      Thanks Laddie… I have a small fenced yard, and the deer stay out. I have a dog to chase the rabbits away, and I’m pretty lazy at pulling weeds, so once everything grows a little more I’ll probably dump some mulch in there. It’s the easy way out, but what’s three bags of mulch versus hours of weeding?


  • Kim  On April 16, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    +1 to this endeavor. I’ve only started seeds for tomatoes so far, but it’s still early. I have time to add. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • StephenS  On April 16, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      Yeah, I’m definitely the “buy the young plants at the garden store” kinda guy. I’m not a crazy gardener, but like diabetes, I know what I like and what works best for me. Thanks!


  • Karen  On May 4, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I love your garden!!! When I lived with my parents I always had a vegetable garden, but it hasn’t gone so well here in my own house. The squirrels ruin everything before I can harvest. This year we’re going to be (hopefully) tearing down our deck and putting in a patio. Once that’s done I’ll see what space would work for a garden and look into squirrel proofing options!!

    Liked by 1 person

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