Potager progress

Bed 5d  Things are popping in the potager!  A couple of small rains have really spurred crops along.  For example, last week bed 5d shown above was empty except for the row of mini tulips along the top edge.  During the week, the edging marigolds “Hot Pak Orange” were added.  The third planting of beans (“Provider”) have not only emerged, but are 3″ tall.  The center row has been filled with the last planting of broccoli “Artwork Baby.”  And a bonus self-seeded lettuce appeared on the left edge.  Lettuce, self-seeded  Sadly, the tulips could not handle the heat surge, the petals fell, so the bloom stalks were clipped.  Happily, the “Black Seeded Simpson” lettuce that I sprinkled on the snow back in February are merrily growing and will soon hide the fading tulip foliage, plus provide lots of tasty salads and wilted lettuce meals.  Of course there are other lettuces in the potager.  One of my favorite mini butterheads “Little Gem” is beginning to form heads.  Lettuce Little Gem  In the upper left triangle is bok choy.  The inverted space between the lettuce and bok choy was originally planted with some old “Little Finger” carrots, which never germinated.  Recently the space was replanted with “Red Core Chantenay” carrots mixed with “French Breakfast” radishes which are just emerging.  Sometimes planting old seed just doesn’t work.  The upper right corner was seeded with some really old arugula seed, which came up very sparse.  It’s getting late for arugula seeding, so something else will go in that space.  The comparison lettuce is “Victoria” shown below, seeded and transplanted the same time as “Little Gem.”  Lettuce Victoria  The inverted V in this  bed is “Patterson” onions grown from seed and transplanted into the bed.  Upper left corner is the red-stemmed Italian dandelion, and the upper right triangle is chard “Bright Lights” but only the orange seedlings.  I gave all the other colors to the garden club plant sale!  Most exciting to me are the first pea blooms.  Pea blossom  This is “Strike” which is a new, early variety for the grow list this year.  It’s the first of four varieties planted April 8th to bloom.  Last year’s first pea blossoms opened on 5/17 so it’s apparent that crops are catching up to the “norm” quickly.  The two mini-cabbages grown for comparison are beginning to grow nicely.  Cabbage Gonz  I’ve grown “Gonzales” the past two years and been happy with them.  Their small size is perfect for a two-family household and they don’t take up lots of space.  The comparison crop is “Katarina” Cabbage Katarina which seems to be a bit larger and definitely a paler green color.  Both were seeded and transplanted the same day for trial purposes.  However, the number of plants differs because the “Gonzales” seed was leftover so I seeded more in case not all germinated, but they did!  I don’t want too many cabbages all ready at once until fall, when I’ll make kraut but I may be making a batch earlier this year.  And lastly, my lone “Tangerine” poppy that bloomed last year came back.  I’d hoped it had self-seeded generously, but once again there is only one plant.  Poppy  This summer I’ll collect some seeds and give it some help!  Overall, I’m terribly pleased with the potager.  Already over 8 lbs. of produce has been harvested, compared to 2 1/2 lbs. last year!  May is off to a great start, and so is the potager!

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About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
This entry was posted in Spring, Uncategorized, vegetable gardening and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Potager progress

  1. Pretty and productive! I’ve never heard of mini cabbages. Keep us informed!

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    • carolee says:

      Mini cabbages taste just like the big heads, but are much more manageable. For one, they fit in my crisper drawer in the fridge! One head make just enough cole slaw for the two of us. I can put them on 10″ spacing in the beds, so they don’t take up a terrific amount of space. I try to plant about 6 each month for a continual harvest. Will let you know if there is a big difference between Gonzales and Katarina.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. zipcoffelt says:

    Your greens look to be flourishing!! It’s already too hot here for them, so I’m waiting for August to plant fall lettuces and spinach.

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    • carolee says:

      It seems harder to have good greens now than in my earlier years. We seem to go right from winter, a little blip for spring, then heat of summer, which most greens don’t like. I’m experimenting with various spinach varieties to see which, if any will tolerate heat and humidity. Hope, hope!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. bcparkison says:

    I do wish I lived closer.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Helen says:

    Good to hear the potager is being so productive. Shame that the heat has killed your tulips off, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Robin says:

    Beautiful! It’s always amazing to see the variety of leaf shapes and shades of green.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. March Picker says:

    Love the angles you’ve created in those beds. I’ve also learned that sometimes planting old seed just doesn’t;t work, but you’ve recovered well from that minor blip!

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  7. Margy says:

    I like the way you mix and match plants in your beds. Most of my plants are in containers, but I do have four small raised beds on my garden float. This year I have tried to inter-plant more. It helps me fit more things in a small space and hopefully will confuse some of the pests. – Margy

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    • carolee says:

      One of the reasons I love raised beds is the ability to plant more closely. I do think it helps confuse the bugs. I plant more closely in spring, harvesting earliest crops which allows more space for the larger growing, slower crops.

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  8. patch405 says:

    Great progress! Keep plugging along.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow. I’m so impressed. My veg beds are limping along this year. So many things haven’t germinated at all and those that have get munched.

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    • carolee says:

      Uninvited diners can be so discouraging. After a really slow start, the potager is the best (knock wood!) it’s been. This is its third season. My germination problems have all been from old seed, but I can’t resist giving them a chance. Fortunately, we have a long enough growing season to replant when necessary. Best of luck as your season continues.

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