Sunday, May 25, 2014


Isn't there such potential in an empty bed? It could be anything. But today it became the cucumber and zucchini bed. I prepped and planted a row of cucumbers along the back. I'll trellis them once they get big. And there will be three zucchini plants along the front. Costata Romanesca is a very hard one to control as they will try to run all over and escape the bed. I'm not a fan of its habit but I like the taste better than most zucchinis.

The next bed that I prepared was my sweet potato bed. As you can see it has a nice brick path that goes along two of its sides and the edges of the bed are also brick. This bed gets nice and hot in the summer. I'm never sure how many plants to put in. In the north it is better to space them closely as they don't have time to expand and root and set more potatoes. Typically I get sweet potatoes only from where the original plants were put. So they are a bit over a foot apart in all directions. I have three rows (and an extra plant at each of the points where the bed sticks out).

One row is Purple, an apt name for the potato that is purple inside and out. I put it near the path. The roots of Purple will spread all over everywhere. The tubers tend to be thin but very very long. And I didn't want to deconstruct the whole bed to try to find them when their roots break out and go into the path. But I think the brick path will contain them. That path has a pretty solid foundation.

In the middle of the bed is Beauregard. It attracts whatever pest I have. I don't know what it is - maybe the sow bugs - but whatever it is, it eats holes in the tubers. It seems to like this potato the best. So maybe the other two wills stay nice and I can bake them. The Beauregards will all be peeled to get rid of the damage. The last variety is Garnet. Whatever the pest is, it usually leaves this alone for the most part. I get some holes but not many. Because of that it is the best baker of the bunch.

I wanted to get them in today because their roots were getting long. As it is they got a bit too long for my tastes. But they will be fine.

There they are all planted out. You may wonder what the bamboo is for. Well the cats here have contests about who can leave me more presents in the soil and there are a lot of cats in the neighborhood. I'm not a fan of their behavior. The poles discourage them. I can't leave my soil uncovered even for a day. I've learned. I have bird netting cut to the size of the beds. But once the plants are in the netting really doesn't work. So I resort to other measures. The poles won't have to be there long as the sweet potatoes will be big enough in a month to remove. Then the foliage will discourage those cats.

Though I had prepped the bed and planted the corn of the first two sisters bed, I hadn't yet planted the squash. So today I did. I like two vines from each end to trail in between the corn. Hopefully the soil is warm enough for them to germinate.


  1. Your sweet potato bed looks so pretty. Glad I don't have that problem with cats. At least, not yet! Nancy

  2. I am very familiar with the cat problem, my own cats.... I used to criss cross twine about 6 inches above the beds that they liked to visit, they didn't like to step between the strings and it got in their way if they wanted to do their business, it worked well as a deterrent. Now they can't get through the deer fencing around my veggie garden so it's not as much of a problem any more.