The Vegetable Garden

The new vegetable garden has finally been planted! As they say, better late than never – even if it is already June. The design and location were the easy parts, but turning and tilling soil that hadn’t moved in a decade or more was tough.

Vegetable Garden
The 40′ x 20′ garden plot ready to plant. Trenches were used around the exterior to keep the plot from holding water.

You might remember from a previous post that due to snow and rain, March and April were terribly wet months. With more sun and more time between the May showers, things were beginning to dry out enough to at least mow – helping the soil to breathe as much as possible.

The garden plot in early May, just after the first till.

Then came the bargain-priced push tiller on Craigslist, making tilling possible even in the damper conditions – it could handle the wetter soils where the 2 ton tractor just sank as if trying to plow quicksand. After five rounds of tilling, the bargain buy more than paid for itself and the earth was finally ready to plant. It could still use some more soil amendments, but those will have to wait until fall and next spring.

Like last year, almost all of my seeds came from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. I fell in love with them a few years back when I picked up one of their colorfully illustrated catalogs at their Fredericksburg Farmers’ Market booth. Not only do they have one of the best selections of organic and heirloom seeds, but they also have a large selection of plants specifically chosen for the mid-Atlantic region. And thanks to Karen L. and Judy C. for the black cherry tomato seeds that I love so much!

SeedsKnowing that this year was a somewhat experimental growing year, I decided to have fun and made some unique selections along with the classics. Here is a highlight of what is planted:

  • Hungarian Paprika, Jalapeño, and Sweet Cherry Peppers
  • Bowling Red Okra
  • Dolce di Chioggia Beets
  • Hale’s Best Muskmelon
  • Green Glaze Collards & Mixed Lettuces
  • White Acre Peas
  • Ohio Blue Clarage and Stowell’s Evergreen Sweet Corn
  • Mammoth Confectionary Sunflower
  • Pennsylvania Butter-Flavored Popcorn
  • Straight Eights Cucumber
  • De Cicco Broccoli
  • Purple Cherokee, Black Cherry, and Principe Borghese Tomatoes
Seedlings started in February for spring planting.

Some of these had been started from seed earlier in the year, but the delay in having the garden plot ready meant that some just didn’t make it. Most of the list has already been directly sown in the new plot with only a few varieties that still need homes. The peas will need their own space and I’ve got bamboo from the bamboo garden that was dried for the trellising.


And now that I’ve shared my garden plantings on the blog, I’m really hoping that I have something to show for it at the end of summer – wish me luck and lots of energy – I’m going to need it!