04 March 2010

Spring Vegetable Gardening

Last weekend I finally got my potatoes and onions in the ground. While I was at it, I planted more lettuce and spinach as well. I planted so much that I had to make a diagram to know where everything is planted. Not really - I made the diagram to help me with crop rotation in the future. I planted three kinds of potatoes, two kinds of onion sets, two kinds of spinach and two kinds of lettuce.

I know I bought five pound bags of potatoes, but I don't seem to have as many as last year - there are a number of big ones, so maybe that's the reason. I got a third variety this year and ended up planting all of them in two raised beds. Last year I got white and red, and this year they also had Yukon gold. I'm expecting a better crop this year in the raised bed than I had in the ground last year.

I think I bought a pound each of white and purple onion sets. I was expecting to get yellow ones too, but they didn't have any. Until I'm am expert at this, I'm not going to be picky. I need to pay better attention to them this season. I think my biggest problem with the onions was my own neglect, so I'm going to vigilant this spring. I know everyone who plants onions uses sets, but I think when fall comes around, I'm going to try growing them from seed.

I planted Melody spinach several weeks ago, after I pulled up my broccoli. It's been growing nicely. I thought I would see about growing Space spinach as well. I planted that in the holes in the concrete blocks around one of the beds of potatoes. I'm not sure how long they will last into the warm weather, but I know at least one of them is more heat tolerant than average.

I already have lettuce growing in the garden from the winter - I think I planted it after Halloween and we have been eating on it since Xmas - but I had seeds for two more varieties I wanted to plant. Since I'm short on space I decided to plant the lettuce in the same bed with the potatoes. I've read many times about "intercropping" vegetables that have different needs, etc. In this case, the lettuce will be ready about 45 days after planting, while potatoes may take 100 days of more to mature, however you can harvest them real young as "new" potatoes. So if I can get some more lettuce without interfering with the potatoes, why not?

Instead of worrying about how much space I have in the raised beds - because I will never have enough - I've decided that one of my landscape beds is going to be part of the vegetable garden. I've got garlic planted out there right now and I had planned to watermelons and pumpkins out there as well - to give them room to spread - but I'm already thinking all the other things I can plant - cucumbers, squash, corn. I can't wait!


Darren said...

I like the cinder block beds. That is a cool idea. Just an idea, you could fill in the holes with soil and plant Marigolds there. They are suppose to help repel bugs. I too got some of the Yukon Gold, we will have to compare notes and see how they fair. My onions are just starting to pop up. I did the Red and Yellow. Good job my friend!

Jenion said...

I've read about planting marigolds there. I tried onions and they didn't work - I kept knocking them over getting to the rest of the bed. I thought I would plant something low-growing. After I harvest the spinach, I may put in marigolds.