Garden 2015: Planting season is (almost) over

I am happy to report that 98% of my garden is in the ground! I have a few pepper plants that need to grow just a wee bit more, and I need to find a place to fit a few more pumpkins, but everything else is in. And I am thrilled its almost over.

This has been the most relaxed planting season I’ve ever had. Not having a job means I can take my time–a few hours here, a few hours there–rather than trying to plant the entire thing in one weekend. Planting takes so much longer than I ever think it will.

Here’s a summary of what all has happened since our last Garden 2015 post:

– Celery was a bust. The seedlings didn’t make it, and nothing has come up from the seeds I planted directly. So, I planted carrots in my designated celery spots. I like carrots more than celery, anyway. I’m not bitter.
– Red onions were a bit of a bust. The seedlings didn’t make it, but (!!!) my amazing neighbor Mrs. C. gave me some of her red onion sets, so I should be good to go. Seriously, she gave me over 40 sets!
– Tomatoes were oddly successful! At least so far. Not all of my seedlings made it, but the ones that did are the best tomato starts I’ve ever had. I’m trying out the trench planting technique and am hoping for tomatoes up to my eyeballs. I really want to can some this year for winter eating.
– Cauliflower/ Broccoli/ Cabbage/ Kale: Oh brassicas, you taunt me so! With Portland’s cooler weather, you’d think these cool-loving plants would be a breeze. But they toy with me. Only 4 of my cauliflower seedlings are left, 6 of my broccoli, 3 cabbage, and 1 kale. I did plant kale directly though, and I just counted 6 kale seedlets in my bed, so I’m happy about that.
-Cucumbers/ Zucchini/ Butternut Squash: All but the butternut squash have poked their first leaves out of their soil mounds. Exciting stuff! I’m really hoping to get enough cucumbers to make several batches of pickles (both dill and bread and butter).
– Radishes/ Fava Beans/ Arugula: All going gangbusters. In fact, we’re going to be eating the arugula with dinner one night this week.
– Chard/ Lettuce/ Spinach/ Turnips: The chard is a little slow growing, but I’m finally seeing little seedlets popping up. The lettuce and turnips are growing strong ( I see lots of salad in our future), but the spinach is a little “meh”. Only a few plants to speak of out of the 2 full rows I planted.

I love growing turnips. The greens can be cut several times and they'll grow back, which makes them a renewable food source!
Turnips are one of my favorite things to grow. The greens can be cut several times and they’ll grow back, which makes them a renewable food source!

I was able to thin out enough turnips to make a batch of turnip greens/ pumpkin seed pesto to put in the freezer. I love having stuff in the freezer I can base a meal around, and we eat pesto pretty regularly throughout the year. It’s nice to start reaping the benefits of a garden so early in the year.

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