Bed #1. This is where most of the overwintering brassicas were growing. I got good harvests of broccoli, brokali, and brussels sprouts through the winter. I also had Romanesco broccoli and cauliflower in this bed, both of which grew well but produced their lovely heads while I was away on vacation. Here's what's left of the winter veggies. The brussels sprouts have yielded the last of their sprouts and what's left on the plants is laced with aphids, all that remains is to remove the plants. Off to the left is the Spigariello Riccia broccoli which I've allowed to bloom to provide food for bees and good bugs, but it needs to go now because it is quickly being overwhelmed by aphids.
The only productive winter veggies remaining in this bed is a bit of Romanesca da Taglio frisee, soon to go because it is bolting, and some Italian Silver Rib and Peppermint Stick chards.
I've cleared out the rest of the bed and sown spring salad veggies under the protection of a couple of tunnels. One tunnel is planted with lettuce, including Gulley's Favorite butterhead, Joker crisphead, and Red Butter romaine.
Beyond the lettuce is Tokyo Bekana, a loose headed napa cabbage, Gai Lan, and Speedy arugula.
Beyond that are 7 varieties of radishes - Malaga, Petit Dejeuner, Pink Punch, Plum Purple, Pusa Gulabi, and Pusa Jamuni. I do like my radishes!
And beyond the radishes are Greek cress, Persian Broadleaf cress, Apollo arugula, and Buck's Horn plantain.
And the other tunnel has Palla Rossa radicchio.
And newly emerging salad type turnips, including Mikado, Round Red, and Scarlet Ohno Revival. Barely visible beyond the turnips are carrots, a colorful mix of Bolero, Nelson, Purple Sun, Pusa Asita Black, Pusa Rudhira Red, and Rotild.
And there's just enough room left between the turnips and the radicchio to sow some beets.
Bed #2 is where the tomatoes and peppers will be growing this year. I've been preparing it by growing a cover crop of mostly mustard and peas which I dug in just the other day.
|Cover crop ready to cut.|
|Cut down and ready to dig in.|
|Turned into the soil.|
I aim to have tomato and pepper seedlings ready to plant out by the end of May at which time I'll dig in slow release natural fertilizers.
Bed #3 was the solanum bed last year. Once I cut the tomatoes down I sowed favas in their place and used the trellis that supported the tomatoes to support the beans and a mesh cover to protect the plants from the birds.
I'm growing two varieties this year, my old favorite Extra Precoce Violetto has been a reliable early producer.
|Extra Precoce Violetto|
Bed #4. Most of this side was devoted to winter greens that were sown or set out in December and January, including Ethiopian Highland kale, Speedy arugula, Rishad cress, various radishes, Golden Corn salad, cilantro, and lettuces. Everything grew better than expected given the cold wet weather in December and January. I think that growing them under the protection of the mesh fabric, which was meant to keep the birds from feasting, also helped to protect them from the weather.
Half of the seedlings are in the garden and the other half are in reserve just in case sowbugs or earwigs decide to do some snacking. From front to back there's Dazzling Blue kale, Little Jade napa cabbage, Pixie cabbage, and Amazing Taste cauliflower. There's still one head of Three Heart butterhead lettuce left at the far end of the tunnel. I also slipped seeds for more radishes along the outer drip line - some of the usual including Helios, Malaga, Pink Punch and one new addition of White Beauty. Along the edge of the bed are some new multiplier onions from Arizona called I'itoi. I got 10 bulbs last fall, which when they arrived were completely dessicated, but I planted them in pots anyway. Amazingly enough nearly all of them sprouted, but then some critter dug around in some of the pots, so I ended up with 5 plants. That's enough to get started though.
The area covered with lightweight agribon is where I've direct sown some Mizunarubasoi and Cape Greko mustard.
The Mizunarubasoi emerged quickly but the tiny seeded mustard has been slow to emerge so it's still covered up. The fabric really helps to keep the soil from drying out. I have to hand water the seedlings until they have at least a couple of true leaves since the water from the drip emitters doesn't keep the top layer of the soil moist enough. The fabric is light and water permeable so I can sprinkle water right through it.
|Mizunarubasoi on left, Cape Greko Mustard on right|
Back in January I experimented with directly sowing broccoli into the garden under cloches. Here's the plants on the 16th of March, with a couple more plants sown about that time under the cloches beyond.
And here's the Batavia broccoli plants on the 30th with the two new Atlantis brokali plants sharing the protection of some tulle fabric. It's time to start a couple more broccoli seedlings to continue the succession.
|Rusty garlic disaster|
|Rust infected garlic leaf|