I transplanted all of my vegetable seedlings to their permanent home in our garden bed last weekend! This post details how I planned how much space to allocate to each type of plant, the spacing between them, and how they are doing now.
Here in the PNW, we’ve had quite the roller coaster of spring weather lately. The frost is definitely over, but we’ve had everything from gorgeous spring days to 80 degree humid days to grey and pouring rain. Several thunderstorms have taken place this month. So I knew my veggie seedlings were going to get any array of weather and I could only hope that at least some of them do well.
A few people teased me that I went overboard with the seeds and variety of things I wish to plant, and they are probably right. Go big or go home, right?! But here’s my thought process behind it all: I am a beginner level gardener. Most things I’ve tried to grow in the past have died. This is my first time planting everything except for some of the herbs and tomatoes which I’ve grown successfully and not-so-successfully in the past. I am accounting for the fact that not all of these plants will take. If on the off chance they ALL take, well then I’ll have zucchini coming out of my ears, but that is a type of vegetable that’s fairly easy to use for a variety of things and it’s usually easy to give away.
I also wanted to plant things that my family will actually use and enjoy. No sense planting something like Brussels sprouts when we don’t care for them. The idea is that hopefully we have some awesome usable vegetables this coming summer and that can lower our grocery bill, to boot! I also hope to be able to share some of our bounty with friends and family if quantities provide for that.
So the things I’ve planted are things that our family loves and eats often. I’ll admit that with my Hashimoto’s diagnosis and the subsequent AIP plan, we tried a lot of new things that have since become staples in our meal rotations. Some simple, rough chopped carrots roasted in coconut oil make a delicious side dish – sometimes I drizzle honey on them the last few minutes of cooking too! We make a lot of salads from green leaf and spring mix lettuces. We love zucchini, but the organic zucchini’s at our local store are getting pricier and pricier, and the organic zukes are small too, far smaller than their non-organic counterparts. I also planted yellow summer squash, one of my summertime favorites, roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green beans, 6 stalks of corn, and some other cooking staples like onions, broccoli, leeks, beets, and 6 kinds of herbs.
Herbs are another thing that have seen price hikes in recent years! I love purchasing fresh herbs to go in dishes and I could absolutely live off a caprese salad in summer! But when some “fresh” basil – meaning, some twigs packed in a plastic case – is $2.99 at the grocery store, man – that adds up, friends. So, I planted basil, dill, parsley, oregano, rosemary, and thyme, all flavors that I love cooking with and adding to dishes.
I mentioned in my last post that my husband’s planter box was gigantic – it comes up to waist level when I stand next to it, and it’s interior is 16′ long x 4′ wide. With these easy dimensions, I figured that for the most success, I would plan out how I wanted to plot each type of seed. This also allowed me to plan where to put each plant for the best results – some plants shouldn’t be planted too close to each other, I learned.
The idea was one plant for each square foot, but with my four year old helping, I quickly noticed that the plots were overlapping in some areas and crowded in another. We remedied this, but, I also wasn’t out there with line markers or a ruler to set the plots straight. We simply planted, allowed appropriate space between each type, and went from there. So, my rough sketch of what the garden planting was to be ended up a little different in the end, but I had kept the appropriate plants away from the others that it wasn’t supposed to mingle with.
I found an awesome site, gardeners.com, that allows you to create a free garden planner! So below, I present to you the finished version of our veggie garden, however it’s not to scale:
Starting in the back row on the left, we have sunflowers along the trellis, followed my a couple of the corn stalks and then moving into green beans. All of these will grow tall and I figured the support will help.
On the lower left, we have a few plots of onions followed by zucchini, then lettuces, broccoli, garlic, yellow squash, carrots and more corn are in the middle. Moving towards the right are leeks, cherry and then roma tomatoes, beets and then all of the herbs round out the far right.
So far in the past five days they’ve been planted, the seeds have gotten rain, sun, wind, and even a little hail..the corn stayed nice and strong and perky, but the sunflower and green bean seedlings, which had sprouted quite tall when I was growing them indoors, have become droopy..I’m hoping that’s not a sign of their health, and that they will grow tall and strong!
Most everything else is still at the same level as when I planted it, no huge growth spurts yet! Hopefully by the time the nice weather starts sticking around longer (May/June) we’ll have some usable vegetables around these parts!