New Garden for 2014

I’ve had the garden up for a while, I just haven’t bothered to go out and take pictures until I got my Nokia Lumia 1020.  I stepped out this morning and snapped away, and you can view the pictures below.

I have learned a bit from last year’s garden successes and mishaps (such as the overload of cucumbers and lack of tomatoes in spite of my humungous plants).  I have arranged my tomatoes toward the end of one bed instead of in a row, and placed them in cages; so far I have 6 Beefmaster plants and 2 Brandywine (I think).  They are good strong plants and they are looking good so far.  Next to those in rows I have cucumbers and summer squash.  In the next bed I have 12 red pepper plants, 6 jalapeno, and 6 habanero.  This year I have given them plenty of space and only have one double-row of peas growing along the edge, and some lettuce at the end on a bare patch I had left over.

Before I had started this garden, one of the lettuce plants grew from seed that I planted the previous year, and just popped up from the soil after snow melt!  This let me to reading on planting stuff in the late winter, such as lettuce, snow peas (probably why they are called snow peas), and others.  This gives me a plan for a more efficient garden that I will need to think on and plan for next year.

The long bed along the house I planted garlic, shallots and onions to give advantage of the full sun that we get on that side.  Most of my garlic and shallots died after the hard winter that we had, but the shallots are growing happily with flowering scapes; I’m definitely looking forward to harvesting the seeds for future plantings.  I have enough garlic in the bed to keep me happy for now, and to hold us over through the winter.

The sunflowers have been an utter failure owing to squirrels and chipmunks raiding the beds.  They usually nip off the top of the plants as soon as the seed germinates and pops out of the soil, but after the second pair of leaves come up, they leave them alone.  This year after a second and third planting, they went straight for the newly planted seeds.  I give up!!!  So, in lieu of sunflowers, I have dedicated a gaping hole in the sunflower portion of the bed to cilantro, and I may put some beets or carrots down.

Surprise Summer Squash--this plant is yellow!

Surprise Summer Squash–this plant is yellow!

Pickle barrel cucumber plants coming up happy and healthy.

Pickle barrel cucumber plants coming up happy and healthy.

Jalapeno pepper perspective.  These and the other pepper plants are very strong and healthy this year.  I have a good feeling about this.

Jalapeno pepper perspective. These and the other pepper plants are very strong and healthy this year. I have a good feeling about this.

Habanero plants are much healthier than last year.

Habanero plants are much healthier than last year.

Blackberries!  Hopefully I can get to them before critters do.

Blackberries! Hopefully I can get to them before critters do.

Shallot scape in full flower.

Shallot scape in full flower.

Cilantro popping up this morning.

Cilantro popping up this morning.

Sweet basil popping up this morning.  It's taking a while for these to come up this year.

Sweet basil popping up this morning. It’s taking a while for these to come up this year.

Garlic Dill Pickles

Okay, so we got some help from Brainy Smurf on the pickle front.  He is bravely dictating Papa Smurf’s favorite pickle recipe.

Some handsome cucumbers, washed and pokes removed.

Some handsome cucumbers, washed and pokes removed.

Brainy Smurf inspecting the cuke

Brainy Smurf inspecting the cuke

washed and rolled in salt

washed and rolled in salt

Closeup of the dill.

Closeup of the dill.

ready for assembly

ready for assembly

myself making sure I'm understanding the process and the recipe

myself making sure I’m understanding the process and the recipe

endgame

endgame