Garden in May

We’ve had some great weather for this year’s garden. Plenty of rain (keeping our water bills low!), a decent amount of sunshine, not too hot despite a few odd days. All and all, my plants are happy.

In addition to the obvious concerns of what would grow well for us, our garden plan for the year was to grow things according to the following criteria:

1. We had to be able to grow enough of it in our small space to actually do something with. Low-yield things that take up space, like bush beans, were ruled out.

2. It had to save us money. This meant super cheap and readily available items, like zucchini, were out. We can buy local, sustainable zucchini and yellow squash in abundance at a very low cost.

3. It had to be something that we would either use most of while in season, or that we could readily preserve for winter.  This meant not an overabundance of delicate greens that didn’t freeze or can well.

4. It had to fit into a rotational plan that would let us make maximum use of the garden for all 4 seasons.

5. We wanted to do as much heirloom as possible. We did use some non-heirloom, but only where it was impossible to get heirlooms (sunchokes being the best example).

What we came up with for the spring/summer rotation was a whole bunch of tomatoes (almost all from last year’s seed), leeks (which we love but are super expensive here), snap peas (which take almost no room and are prolific producers), some high-yield hard winter squashes, sunchokes (very expensive, hard to get, but ridiculously easy to grow), various greens, carrots, and onions.  As some of these are harvested, we have plans for the fall and winter crops to go in.

And here’s how it looks so far:

The leeks are doing incredibly well. We have three rows, which should give us enough to use and freeze.

Our sorrel is out of control. We love it, but holy cow. This is only 4 plants, and we’re having a difficult time keeping up. I’ve already begun freezing it for winter!

We have about 30 tomato plants. This wasn’t intentional. I’d planted some that were really pretty spindly, and so planted some extra thinking the less-hardy ones would die. We only lost one plant total. We’re going to need more canning jars.

We’re using the California weave method to support the tomatoes.

I didn’t get pictures of anything else because it started to rain; but, I promise, there’ll be more later. The herb garden is going especially crazy, and I need to do some pruning before it gets entirely out of hand. My carrots have failed entirely for some unknown reason. Not a single sprout. No idea why, but I’ll give it another try. And, my basil is awful (I’ll be planting new basil plants this coming week).

How is your garden growing?

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4 responses to “Garden in May

  • iasmindecordoba

    I’d love to know how you freeze your sorrel.

    • NoBusiness

      Funny you should mention that, really. I documented the last batch via tons of photos just so I could do a post about it. Not a single photo turned out. The short version is I wash it, de-stem, then chop roughly before putting in a vacuum freezer bag. The long version just had pics of me doing that.

      • iasmindecordoba

        Does it end up getting slimy or breaking down like some greens when it’s defrosted then or do you just use it in its soft form as a filler in other dishes?

      • Shawn

        It does break down like spinach, but I’ve found if I don’t cook it, it holds better. Since I use it mostly in soups and casseroles anyway, it works as well as fresh in most things. I try to only freeze the larger leaves, and use the smaller ones fresh in salads, but that’s just because I like the small ones to much on.

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