Garden Update – Week of 5/16/16

One of my favorite times of the year has arrived: garden season!  I plated seeds during the winter and the spring, the seedlings have been hardened off, and now it is time to plant them in the garden.  I have some work to do in the raised beds, but things are coming together.  I will be posting regular garden updates during the season that includes pictures and videos.  I did this over the past couple years for my Small Scale Gardening blog and for the Small Scale Gardening YouTube Channel, and it was fun to track the progress as the season progresses.  I will carry on the garden update tradition here at Small Scale Life!

Garden Plan

Currently, I have five raised beds and a Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System.  I will show a picture of each and describe the plan for each bed below.

Raised Bed 1

Raised bed; onions; tomatoes; organic; gardening; garden; trellis

Bed 1 is planted with tomatoes and onions – 5/20/16

This has traditionally been my tomato bed, and once again, I will be planting tomatoes in this bed.  In this 12’x18″x8″ bed, I am in the process of planting 11 tomato plants in this bed.  I also have four varieties including Opalka Roma (4), Amish Paste (3), San Marzano (2) and Cherry Tomatoes (2).  I also planted three rows of red onions in this bed as well.  I will be watching the cherry tomato plants on the far end of the bed; they are shaded for more than a few hours per day.

Raised Bed 2

Raised bed; peas; bush beans; organic; gardening; garden; trellis; fencing

Bed 2 is planted with peas and bush beans. The fence keeps the hungry rabbits out – 5/21/16

Last year, this 8’x2’x8″ bed held my pole beans and cucumbers.  Both crops took off, and I had pole bean plants that were over 15′ high!  I also planted some peas in this bed, but they really didn’t take off. Given my experience with the shade that 15′ high pole beans created for my tomatoes, I opted to plant bush beans and peas in this bed.

I am experimenting with the peas this year, and once the peas get a little over a foot high, I will plant some more bush beans in the bed.  Eventually the peas will die in the heat of the summer, and the second crop of bush beans will be growing in this bed.

Raised Bed 3 

Raised beds; onions; garlic; organic; gardening; garden

Bed 3 is planted with garlic and onions – 5/21/16

I built this 8’x3’x12″ bed last year from scrap lumber in by garage, and I grew potatoes for the first time.  It was a great experiment!  I transplanted garlic that I had planted in Bed 1 to this bed, and over the weekend, I planted a ton of small yellow onions that I had started from seed from Seed Savers Exchange.  There is no more room in this bed, so it is completely planted out right now.

Raised Beds 4 and 5

Raised beds; greens; lettuce; spinach; Swiss chard;basil; kale; ; organic; gardening; garden

Beds 4 and 5 will be planted with herbs and greens this weekend – 5/21/16

Raised Beds 4 and 5 are two 2’x4’x6″ elevated beds that have been my “pepper plantation” over the past two years. This year, I am shifting gears and going to plant greens and herbs in these two planters.  I will be transplanting the following starts into these beds: lettuce, kale, basil, parsley, and oregano.  I will also be starting arugula, spinach, chard and other salad mixes into these beds.  These beds will be planted on 5/21/16 and 5/22/16, and I will be repurposing the conduit to another project.

Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System(s)

Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System; peppers; hydroponics; Larry Hall; Grow Bag Garden System

I will plant jalapeno peppers in the Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System – 8/17/15

The Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System is a 10′ long pipe that can accommodate 10 Dollar Store laundry baskets that are lined with landscape cloth and have 2″ netcups in the bottom.  The 2″ netcups are filled with soil, covered in landscape cloth, and dropped into holes drilled into the 3″ pipe.  Water wicks up through the netcups and into the soil, and plants can take as much water as they need.

I will be experimenting with a new Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System that does not require a 3″ long pipe.  More on that experiment in a future post.  I can tell you that I will be setting this system up very soon (i.e., this week).

Vertical Garden

Inspired by Khaled Majouji, aka “The Plant Charmer” on Instagram, and Zack on Instagram, I am going to install a couple of vinyl rain gutters.  These will have more lettuce, basil, other greens growing in them.  I will drill drainage holes every 12″-18″ and put soil mix into the gutters.  Plants are transplanted or directly sown into the soil.  The trick with this method will be to keep the soil moist for the plants.

Again, I will post more on this and hopefully have Khaled Majouji on the Small Scale Life Podcast!  In the meantime, feel free to check out his YouTube Channel (it is pretty informative).

YouTube Channel – Garden Update

I posted a garden update video on the Small Scale Life YouTube Channel.  I am planning on posting an update each week, showing the progress of the raised garden beds, vertical garden and the Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow Systems.

Please head over to the Small Scale Life YouTube Channel and subscribe to the channel.  I will be posting more Garden UpdatesGardening 101 and other videos this season!