Meet the Gardens

The last couple of weeks have been punctuated with intermittent flurries of planting, and the gardens are starting to green. Here at Sycamore House, we have three vegetable gardens.

The Driveway Garden is our oldest vegetable garden, on the southeast side of the house next to the..( wait for it)…driveway.

It gets great sunlight, but it is fairly low lying and root veggies do terribly in this spot. The very first year of this garden, we grew great radish plants that had no radishes at all. We work against the tendency to mud when it rains by building up beds. We grew great pumpkins here for several years before a miserably failed experimental move last year, so we are moving them back here this year. This year the garden has 7 tomato plants ( one of which is not yet caged) and four rows for peas and snowpeas. It will have cucumbers, summer squash, spinach, zuchinni, greenbeans, and tbd. We tried an experimen tthis year, planting our tomato plants a little earlier than normal. We wrapped the tomato cages (which the Ogre created from cattle panel)in a packing/saran type plastic to make mini greenhouses. Our very early tomato planting was a serious failure ( since it snowed the very next day..) but planting right at the border between April/May ( two weeks earlier than normal) looks like it may succeed and will give us some EarlyGirl tomatoes by mid June. With more room for tomatoes this year, we are experimenting with several different heirloom varieties. We have planted Mountain Pride, German queen and yellow pear, along with classic Early Girl, beefstake, golden and our new favorite Mr. Stripey , we always include grape and husky cherry. I am looking forwardto experimenting and finding some new favorite tastes and textures as well as having a bounty to can for the winter. The failure ofroot crops in this first location convinced us to an additional garden last year. It did so well with root crops that we dedicated it entirely to root crops- onions ( red and yellow), potatoes (red and golden) and sweet potatoes. The onions are already sprouting nicelyand the potatoes are secretly rooting under ground,although I have not seen any sprouts from them yet. ( fingers crossed) We have some additional late season potatoes that we will plant in the backyard garden as an experiment later this summer. It is too soon to plant sweet potatoes, buttheplants are on order and should be arriving in a week or so. In the meantime, we have prepped the bed for the plants and we re growing an early crop of spinach in the space. Last year Ogre added a small tomato plot in the backyard near the fence, but even with that, weran out of tomatoes well before the winter was over. This year he expanded thatplot into a full fledged backyard garden that doubles our gardening space. This garden is growing 10 tomato plants, as well as avariety of veggies. So far we have planted a variety of peppers ( sweet and hot), green beans, leeks, corn, lettuce, kohlrabi, artichokes, brussel sprouts and radishes. This garden will get some late crop corn, second crop green beans, lettuce through the whole season, some potatoes and some sweet potatoes. I am excited about all of the newthings we are getting to try because of the additional space. We are already getting lettuce and kohlrabi sprouts and I am expecting the first ofthe greenbeans sprouts to pop any day. I would love to hear if you are planting a garden andwhat you love to grow and feed your family.

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