Raising the bed

dragonfly_wings(Z8 - Central TX.)April 15, 2010

Hi everyone!

I decided this year to focus on creating some raised bed veggie gardens. I'm such a newbie with all of this that I'm still learning about the timing and harvesting methods. But even my 'mistakes' have paid off this year so far.

I built two 4x8" beds (12" tall) and got the itch in late February to put something in them. So I grabbed a few

collard greens, kale and chards. I was informed by a friend that they should have been put in last Fall or earlier this year, but lucky for me that the weather has been rather overcast, rainy and on the cool side, so I was able to harvest those plants this week and had some amazing meals (like lamb rolled up in collard green leaves - similar to cabbage rolls but with Turkish flavors).

After the last freeze in March I planted some lettuce, tomatoes and onions, mint and parsley.

All have done exceptionally well so far, and I had my first salad tonight using the lettuce.

Can't wait for the tomatoes (mortgagelifters, juliets).

I'm not sure how long the lettuce typically lasts but I'm planning on continuing to harvest individual leaves and allow the plant to grow some more. Yum!

So far I've not had to battle any bugs. And I've barely had to water, although I have set up a drip system (more on that aggravation later!).

The plums and mulberry trees are coming along nicely and I'm really looking forward to their harvest. All the rain this year has really boosted their output. I love that wonderful feeling of abundance and connection to the earth that gardening provides, and the satisfaction of knowing

that I'm eating so well.

Anyway, that's all from here at Lake Wobegon. Just want to send warm greetings and hope everyone is well!

P.S. There was a natural anomaly to report. Maybe others noticed this too. If my memory is clear usually a flock of Cedar Waxwings arrive just as the mulberries ripen. In fact they usually strip the tree, along with other birds.

But this year it seems they arrived very early and were sadly sort of pecking at the very young green mulberries that still have some weeks to go. Not sure if that's unusual or not. But they've now moved on without having the mulberries to help sustain them.

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If I were you I'd go dig up every bit of that mint and put it in a pot. Be sure to get every bit of it. Mint will take over the whole bed and you'll spend the rest of your life trying to get it out.

The bugs are on the way. :)

It sounds like you're off to a good start though.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 8:47AM
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dragonfly_wings(Z8 - Central TX.)

hi Melvalena,

Well aren't you a ray of sunshine...lol!
Thanks for the advice on the mint. The three plants I bought (peppermint, spearmint and applemint) share their own separate container. Mint is something I've grown a lot because I use it so much. In fact I haven't met a mint plant than can outgrow my use/appetite, which is why I'm always adding new mint plants. I use it in drinks and meals almost daily. Had it in my salad and my iced tea today, for instance.

Not looking forward to the bugs. Just hope that won't include a bumper crop of grasshoppers like we've had the last couple of years and which are the most difficult to contend with in my experience thus far.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 3:51PM
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That's great that you have the mint separated from everything else!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 4:39PM
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dragonfly_wings(Z8 - Central TX.)

By the way, if anyone is interested, I used some broccoli leaves the same way I used the collard greens to wrap and cook the lamb in and they were just great! The leaves look a lot alike and though the brocolli leaves are more bitter, they were delicious in this dish and nutritious! I'm going to try them in soups too. Would hate to just toss them out.
I'm a big fan of greens - kale, collard, etc., so I might be more inclined to enjoy this than others.

I googled 'broccoli leaves' for recipes and found this:

I also discovered that there is a vegetable called Leaf Broccoli also known as Spigariello (see the link). Anybody ever grown it?

Here is a link that might be useful: Leaf Broccoli

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 5:24PM
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