I've been busy with the garden(s) recently, but I'll post about it one thing at a time. Yesterday I decided my brassicas and chard had to go into the garden and I finally had time to do it. I had actually figured they needed to go in last week since the weather was so nice, but that didn't happen. Time is such an important part of gardening. Well this week I have it. Last week I didn't.
My biggest issue with planting is that I don't plan on paper. I have three sections of the garden that get rotated each year. I know what goes into each section, but not where they go. Part of my mental planning revolves around successions and row covers. This bed is the greens and allium bed. It is about 24' long. All my beds are 4' wide. Garlic was planted last fall at the east end of the bed. The garlic gets harvested in the first half of July. The next section I planted my lettuce and radishes. On the western end of the bed I planted my onions and leeks. As a side note the leeks were a dismal failure this year. I tried using the little 3/4" blocks for the leeks and some bunching onions. Alliums don't germinate and grow well in these. I redid the bunching onions in the 1 1/2" blocks and they were fine. I didn't elect to redo the leeks so I have three good leeks to grow and a few struggling ones. I may over plant that area in nasturtiums later and just give up on them.
Anyway back to the bed. So both ends of the bed were already planted up. In the back of the unfinished section are the peas. They take up one foot all the way across the back. So I had a nice section of bed of unknown length but around 9' long and 3' wide. I kept switching back and forth in my mind where everything should go. But I finally put the chard next to the onions because it won't need to be covered during the summer. Only the brassicas will stayed permanently under a row cover. I also wanted the brassicas near the lettuce and garlic. The latter will be taken out earlier and can be succession planted with more fall brassicas. I want the cover to go over them later.
My other issue was that my overwintered spinach was in the middle of this section. The brassicas needed to go in, but I wasn't willing to pull the spinach prematurely. It is my only fresh green right now. Until the spring spinach starts getting harvested or the plants bolt, I want them to stay. Broccoli was my easiest solution. I plant them about 18" apart. They don't really need that space at the start of their life. So I planted four broccoli in spots where the spinach wasn't growing as well. I think they will do OK. I have another two that are in open parts of the bed so I can compare the two and see if it was a reasonable workaround.
The following were planted: Yokatta-Na, Purple Mizuna, Tatsoi, Fun Jen, Komatsuna, Ruby Chard, Argentata Chard (which is supposed to be green, but has some reddish stalks), Piracicaba broccoli, Packman broccoli, Chinese Kale (from Mac), Choy Sum (from Mac), Shanghai Bok Choy (from Mac), Ching Chang Bok Choi (from Granny), Senposai (from Michelle), Chinese Cabbage Rubicon, Napa Cabbage (from Mac). I was going to have White Stem Bok Choy too, but it never germinated. In fact the Ching Chang only had one good plant. Luckily the Shanghai Bok Choy is growing well or I might be bok choy less.
I almost got all the plants in. Some are a bit squished at 8-9" apart, but they will survive and I can pick alternating ones to open more space later. I tossed the weaker ones and saved seven plants just in case something happens to the ones in the bed. I'll only save them for a couple of weeks then toss them. I don't even know what they are anymore as I didn't label them. The plants in the bed are all nicely labeled though. I'll know what I'm eating and if I like it I can grow it again.
When I was done I sprinkled some Sluggo between the rows. It was my first time using it. I also put it at the edges of the paths. I noticed that the bok choy was already starting to get eaten and it hadn't even been planted yet. I did leave it outside for a few nights to harden off though. I'm sure it was munched on then.
This vegetable bed is fully planted now, just two more beds to plant up. Doesn't it look pretty? OK it is pretty ugly under the Agribon. But the brassicas won't look as hole ridden without those caterpillars munching on them so at least they will look prettier.