All sorts of new discoveries when I went out to check on the garden today. I found a ladybug! Didn't have my camera with me at the time, unfortunately.

Currently, my garden is three raise beds, and I'll eventually expand to four beds. Now, there are two on the left, and one on the right, I refer to them as my northwest, southwest, and northeast beds. This is what they looked like today:

Northwest

garden bed with peas, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and lettuce

The Tall Telephone peas are about 4 1/2 feet tall now, and have just started to bloom! I'll post pea blossom photos later in the entry. I was so excited to see them. Today, I decided to remove the floating row cover, because the broccoli plants are getting pretty tall, and the row cover was getting too tight. I'll have to come up with a better arrangement, either for this crop or for the next. As luck would have it, today was the first day in weeks that I've spotted a cabbage butterfly. We'll just have to be diligent about checking for eggs on the leaves.

Southwest

garden bed with snow peas, sugar snap peas, beans, and varied seedlings

Here, I'm growing sugar snap peas and snow peas on the trellis. The space between them is empty for now, but I think I'll be planting some Christmas Lima beans there - another of the many new-to-me plants I'm growing this year. This is the bed that's also home to my beans - peeking out over the box, right in the middle of the front row. Other goodies in this bed include eggplants, peppers, marigolds, nasturtiums, zinnias (I didn't realize until now how many flowers I'd put in this one, I"m sure the neighbors will enjoy those, too), radishes, lettuces, some herbs, and some (finally!) newly-emerging parsnips. Parsnips take a bit of time to germinate; these took two weeks to show themselves. I've also never grown parsnips (I've only been eating them for about 5 years), and I hope they turn out well. They were planted specifically for sharing with my family at a holiday dinner. They're also recent parsnip eaters.

Northeast

garden bed with tomatoes and peppers

This is the one I refer to as my tomato bed, because it's where a majority of my tomatoes are planted. Others are going into various containers, but haven't been planted yet. Most of the other squares are planted with peppers, along with an eggplant, a few herbs, onions, and marigolds. Things seem to be going well in this bed, but some of the tomato plants have, what I believe to be, bacterial spot on their leaves:

Close up of leaf with bacterial spot

I'll be treating that with an organic spray to get it under control. It hasn't spread very far yet. There is also happier tomato news:

close up of small tomato forming

Tomato baby! Now I get to stalk it and hope nothing happens to it until it ripens. Wheee!

I also have at least two pepperoncini babies:

close up of pepper forming in fading flower

And those pretty pea blossoms I mentioned earlier:

pea blossoms on trellis

close up pea blossom


When I purchased seeds earlier in the year, on a whim I decided to get some tomatillo seeds. I've never had or used a fresh tomatillo, but I've purchased several salsas that have used them and decided to grow some. Those seeds grew like crazy! The seedlings seemed to grow twice as fast as any of the tomatoes or peppers that were sown at the same time. I looked them up and read that the plants can get pretty darn big, and I knew I probably wouldn't have room for them in the raised garden beds. My solution was to put them in the nearly empty flower bed along the south side of our house. It's one of the beds that was put in before we bought the house, and mostly had some overgrown and untended shrubs in it. We've started pulling most of those out and just mulching with newspapers and cedar mulch to keep it tidy until we decide what to do with it. The soil is pretty heavy clay, but we planted the tomatillos in large holes amended with potting soil and worm castings so they wouldn't have to fight very hard to get acclimated to their new home. They're totally an experiment, so I'm not expecting great things from them. I'll give them cages sometime soon, since I've read that they can benefit from cages.

tomatillos planted in the yard

I didn't post this earlier, but we had a small lettuce and spinach harvest on May 1st! It was only enough for a couple of small salads, and I'm looking forward to having enough for a couple of large dinner salads. It included some Cimmaron leaves, some leaves and baby lettuces (had to thin the patch a bit) from the Rocky Top mix, and a few spinach leaves. Yum!

lettuce leaves in a bowl