Sunday, June 30, 2013

Garden Tour

I haven't given a garden tour in a while. I used to be good about it and took photos every month, but I've gotten lax about it.

As you can see below, I live in an urban neighborhood. Most of the homes surrounding me are two family houses. Some are condos, some are apartments with different generations living on different floors. We bought our house new. The land many years ago was an estate, but more recently it was a neighbor's garden. The lot has two townhouses on it. Our friends live in the other townhouse. We bought the houses at the same time and had the builder connect our living rooms. The builder originally had the backyard fenced off in the middle. We had him change that too. We share our small yard and the fence in the backyard is now a short picket fence that keeps the critters out of the garden. The rest is landscaped in pretty plants, fruit trees, and berry bushes. Someday this summer I will hopefully give a tour of those too. But this tour is about the vegetable garden.

Side yard
Most of the garden is in the side yard. Much of it used to be driveway. We had the builder take a lot of the pavement out. We left just enough space to park two cars. We had the front small patch of lawn turned into drivable grass as legally we were supposed to have two parking spots for each household. But neither of our families really felt like we needed two cars where we live. We are 3/4 of a mile from the subway stop (and if they ever get the green line extension up, we will be 1 mile from a different line), and two blocks from the bus stop on a line that runs every 10 minutes. The garden was a better use of the space for us than a huge driveway.

I divided this space into eight beds that are 4'x16. There is a wooden board in the middle of the bed, so I often think of them as having two beds each 4'x8'. And of course I've numbered them 1-8 on all my garden plans. I also have what I call the circle garden. which is just around the corner. That section is built with bricks instead of cedar like the rest of the garden.

Bed 1
Bed 1 had my peas, carrots, bolting lettuce, celery, and annual herbs. Sadly I'm going to miss the next flush of peas before I leave for vacation. I'm hoping the carrots will be ready to pick before I go. If not they will have to wait until I get back. I don't like to leave them in that long as the carrot flies will start hatching soon enough. I don't want to lose them. I'll pick them small if I have to.

Bed 2
Bed 2 is my Allium bed with some lettuces at the end that I'm going to collect seed from. The garlic is usually almost ready to be picked by now. I usually pick it around July 1st. It could use more time this year as the bottom leaves have only started to show a little brown. But I'll harvest before I leave anyway as it will be way too late by the time I get back. The rest of the bed is in onions. Some of them are covered to protect from the onion maggot. Sadly I put the cover on too late. I'll be better about it next year I hope.

Bed 3
Bed 4
The next two beds are my two sisters beds. As you can see I planted them at different times to stagger the harvest of the corn. Sadly the squash from the latest planted bed didn't germinate at one end. I've resown the bed with some Early Butternut, but I don't know if it will have time to mature or not. I hope so.

Bed 5
Bed 5 has my sweet potatoes (not shown) in one section of the bed and the Tigers Eye beans in the other. As you can see the Tiger's Eye seems to be doing OK right now. It still has rust, but it doesn't seem to be spreading as much as it was. I'll drench it with some fish emulsion again tomorrow. The sweet potatoes are doing well and are starting to vine. Now the hard part starts as I try to keep them inside their bed.

Bed 6 house side
Bed 6 fence side
The favas are doing very well, but I think I might be gone before they are finished. I have been picking but there is a ton still on the plants. I think I'll just let those be and maybe they will be dried by the time I get back. I can hope. The other side is the zucchini and cucumbers. As you can see the third sowing of cucumbers finally took. So I will get some this year. I'm keeping them under cover to keep the squash vine borers at bay. Keeping out the cucumber beetles is a nice side bonus. I'm hoping these won't get big enough to fruit while I'm gone, but will be about ready when I get back. I can remove the cover then and train the cukes up a trellis.

Bed 7
Bed 7 has some just planted Jacob's Cattle beans (not shown). I wanted my Tigers Eye to go there too, but I couldn't find the seed jar. I've never lost seed like this before, but usually it isn't in a jar. I put it in my plastic seed box in the fridge. Oh well. The other side of bed 7 is the broccoli and swiss chard. Both are doing well this year.

Bed 8
The last bed in this section has my Cherokee Trail of Tears beans. I planted a whole 4'x8' bed in it. I've never done that before. I wonder how much I'll get. The other side is my new asparagus bed. I really hope it likes it here. I love asparagus.

Circle Garden
I only took one photo of the circle garden. The middle circle holds a lot of my herbs which are growing fabulously this year. The outer two beds are a strange shape, but put together they are close to the size of one of my other beds. The nearest is planted all in melons. I'm not going to trellis them this year. I'm just giving them more space. I'll see how they do. The far bed is planted in pole beans. I have four kinds. Tabais, GaGa Hut pinto, Kentucky Wonder, and Kentucky Wonder Wax. So half of them are green beans and half are dried beans.

Our lot is small, but luckily the side yard is very sunny for one so close to the other houses. The neighbor's house shades the garden in the winter - I'll never have a greenhouse. And in the fall the trees block the sun quite a bit. But I can still grow things pretty well here.


  1. Your garden looks great Daphne! Hopefully you won't miss too much while your gone!

  2. Looks awesome! This year is not so good for us due to critters and bugs but still enough to eat fresh every day.

  3. Hi Daphne, everything looks lovely. Thank you so much for this tour.

  4. I love your garden tours. Everything looks so lush and happy.

  5. Looks like you have made the best use of the land you have! Thank you for the tour and sharing your garden ideas with us. Nancy

  6. Your garden looks great this year, the vegetables look happy. Mine was coming along pretty well until we got hit by the current heat wave, now the spider mite population is exploding and things are wilting. Talk about sad. The dang zucchini is still happy though - sheesh.

  7. Thanks for the tour! I didn't realize how small a space you had, and I love the way you designed your garden! I hope you get cucumbers and I'm glad to see they're doing well.

  8. Very interesting! We gardeners are nosy people, really. We always want to see how other people are getting on.
    Your approach to gardening is very similar to mine, so I'm always eager to see what you have sown and harvested.
    Going on holiday in the Summer is always difficult; it can be a bit of a wrench to go off and leave your "favourite babies" to their own devices for a couple of weeks... I expect you have arranged for someone to do some watering for you, haven't you?

    1. Of course. My townhouse mates will still be here, so they will take care of everything.

  9. What a beautiful garden and impressive use of space! Really inspirational. Good luck with your asparagus! I'm hoping to put in an asparagus bed next year because they are so delicious.