Thursday, June 30, 2011

Raised Bed Gardens



Good evening and come on in for it is awfully hot outside and the humidity level is quite high. Thank goodness we have been getting some rain late in the afternoons for 3 days straight and it is wonderful. Our ponds are up about a foot and look much clearer and the fish have water, not mud to swim in.

The picture above is one of our raised beds for our vegetable garden this summer. In the past we have planted large gardens but due to health problems and only 2 of us here, we decided to do a couple of raised beds. We bought 4 - 4x8 beds at SAMS and made 2 beds 4x16 and stacked them 24 inches deep. i have them bordering the patio so it is really handy to take care of them.

The picture at the top are the tomato plants. I planted several cherry tomatoes and several Better Boy for larger ones. As you can see from the pictures, they are hanging in clusters and are so good. I like the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes and plant to roast some to put in the freezer for they are delicious in soups and sauces. The roasting concentrates the sugar in them and makes intensifies their flavor.

I also thought about cooking some down and straining the juice for it would have to be delicious. I don't know if you can freeze the juice but I am going to try it and see how it tastes when I cook with it. The larger ones I may try to peel and freeze them whole and I will let you know how this all turns out. Eating them picked off the bushes is almost good as candy and I do that also.





As you can see from this cluster I am having an abundant crop.



The following picture is of my one eggplant plant. I like the Japanese eggplant for it grows straight and the slices are all the same diameter. We slice them into about 1 inch slices, coat them with olive oil mixed with chopped fresh basil and rosemary with a little oregano, place them in 1 layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place them in a preheated 350 degree oven and roast for about 30 minutes or until baked through and slightly caramelized. You can also add sliced yellow and zuchinni squash to the mixture. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese when you take it out of the oven and it is delicious.




This little banana pepper is hiding but as soon as it turns yellow I will pick it and probably add it to my salad.



I have cucumber plants climbing fence at the rear of one of the beds, a huge plant of basil, and green beans scattered throughout the beds. My squash didn't do well for the squash beetles destroyed them. I put sevin dust all over the bed where they were and some fresh potting soil and will try again.




The 2 potato plants which have grown from a couple of potatoes which had sprouted have little potatoes hiding in the ground. I check them today and they are about as big as a cherry tomato so I covered them back up so they can grow a little more. There probably won't be a whole lot of them but who knows, I planted 1/2 of a potato so even 2 or 3 doubles or triples my yield. I just hated to toss them and thought I would try it.



My lettuces I planted became bitter and peppery as the weather got hot so I had to pull them up but they were good in the early spring. The bed had about 4 different varieties and it was great to clip the fresh, little leaves and toss a salad. I will plant some more this fall when it grows cool but for now I am going to put green beans in this spot.



I am amazed at how much food a little space can produce and it is being fun to see what will grow best. The plants are crowded for I have inter planted them but with plenty of fertilizer and water, they will be fine.



That is about it for today but will let you know how my garden grows and why don't you try it. I am surprised at how well it does and it is much easier for I don't even have to bend over much - great for the back.



Ya'll come back to see me and be careful going home.



Nuff said,



The Georgia Peach

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