Container Garden Update — June 10, 2018

-A.J.

The weather continues to be cool, cloudy, and wet. Everything is growing slowly. Today it’s partly cloudy/partly sunny and fairly windy, which makes the photography a little hit and miss.

The raspberries between gusts:

180610 raspberries

This whiskey barrel hosts bush-filet-type Maxibel beans, some Marigolds, and other flowers. Interestingly, the bugs have mostly left the beans alone this year. Could it at least partly be due to the Marigolds helping out and repelling whatever it was that ate the beans last year?

180610 whiskey barrel beans

When we moved into the house the raised beds were a neglected mess. They were mostly overgrown with mint. There was a rosemary plant that has since frozen off and some strawberries that were constantly under attack from weeds, mint, and bugs. We tried moving the strawberries to another location, but we recently re-planted them right back where they started, only this time they have mulch to help combat the weeds and mint.  (Eliminating the mint in the raised beds has been a years-long project and it appears that we’re finally mostly rid of it. We used thick layers of newspaper for starters.)

The south bed now holds strawberries, thyme, chives, garlic chives, and a big sage plant that needs constant pruning so as not to take over. Everything is a little bedraggled right now with all of the mulching and transplanting but they should perk up soon:

180610 raised bed 1

The middle raised bed contains thyme, rosemary which needs pruning, oregano, and lavender. The lavender has been here since the beginning. The rosemary was a spindly $3 mother plant that we purchased at the Seattle Master Gardeners plant sale three years ago. This box still needs some work, but it’s miles ahead of where it was when we moved in.

180610 raised bed 2

And the new asparagus raised bed. Two more plants popped up under the oak tree and were moved to these beds. We added fencing yesterday to try to keep the dog from trooping through the beds:

180610 raised bed 3

The zucchini seem to have responded well to being thinned to one plant per hole. On the left are Fortex (pole) beans. We added more trellis netting to try to discourage them from wrapping around the zucchini. (Which might be fine anyway, I have no idea. No sense making it “interesting”.)

180610 zucchini and beans

The cucumbers were thinned to about two plants per hole. We may try one plant per hole next year, but that seems potentially dicey. Fortex beans are on the right:

180610 cucumber

The cucumber-adjacent planting of Fortex beans (foreground), and Rattlesnake beans (background). The Fortex beans had a head start. They’re very cooperatively wrapping themselves in the trellis netting and around the 2×2 trellis poles:

180610 pole beans

The Fortex are also getting a new leaf shape, which I assume is what they produce the rest of the way (compare the center of the next picture with the bottom of the previous picture). You can also see how the beans are wrapping through the netting:

180610 bean leaf closeup

The more robust of the two tomatillo boxes:

180610 tomatillo

 

An overview picture — here’s an example of why I usually try to get all the photography done in the morning, before the sun peeks over the house. The picture is facing mostly NorthEast. [L-R] along the grass:  box of two Romas, box of two Oregon Spring tomatoes, box of Taxi and Paisano, pepper box, pepper box, basil. In the background to the right side are the cucumbers, with the tomatillos behind that and the big zucchini trellis all the way in the back. There are also two tomato boxes along the north-center side of the patio — one box of two Black Krim and one box with Violet Jasper and Cherry Bomb tomatoes.:

180610 overview

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Visit Dave at Ourhappyacres, host of Harvest Monday.

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