The original layout of the largest raised bed

I started some notes last week about our gardens this year and decided to create a post about it.  This is partly for selfish reason so I have a copy of what we did online.  Second, I thought it might encourage you to review what you did in your garden and start thinking about next year.

We live outside Boston so we have a fairly short growing season.  Winter was a bit of an anomaly in 2012. Super warm temps in March thawed the ground and allowed us to plant very early. My guess is we won’t see the same trend next year and plantings won’t start until May.  We had three raised beds to use and I think we will make do with the same amount next year.  Next year, we will dedicate one of them as an herb garden.

Garden mid June

In reviewing what we did and whether or not it worked for us, I asked these questions.

  1. Did it grow well?
  2. Did we eat it?
  3. Did we have too much/too little?
  4. What was missing?
  5. Was it planted in the right place?

Here are the results of my notes and discussions with my husband who manages more than his fair share of the work.

Trailing plum tomatoes

-Plum: Favorite this season, need 3 plants vs 2 for next year.
-Cherry: Need only 1 plant vs 2, prefer larger size vs smaller.
-Heirloom: Our 1 plant got dwarfed by the cherry tomato plants. Need to space out better.
-Patio: Not stellar.  Taste was good, but would rather add more heirloom.
Notes: need tallest cages for tomatoes, add in a beefsteak tomato plant

-Did not grow well from seed.  Only 1 plant survived. Use seedlings instead.
-Increase to 4 plants vs 2.


Second pea planting

-Sugar Snap Peas were planted twice.  Summer crop arrived in July while we are away. Plant later next year. Repeat location.

-Produced small heads and giant leaves.  Reduce to 4 plants vs 8 next year.

-Terrible year, did not do well in any garden (containers and raised bed). Planted both baby and regular spinach (organic) from seed and it did not take.  Will try again next year in the large raised bed.

Lettuce Greens
-Started 1/2 from seeds and balance 1/2 from seedlings.  This was great because it created a longer harvest season.
-Trout was great (and pretty) and also the butter lettuce.

-Grew very well in the raised bed from a seeding.  Would skip next year as we don’t eat enough of it.

Garden harvest mid August

-Did well despite being dwarfed by the tomato plants.  Need to change placement to allow for more light. Taste was amazing. Need 3 vs 5 plants.

-Sweet green peppers did amazingly well, must have them for next year for Madison to eat right off the vine!  Need cages for them next year.
-Hungarian hot wax peppers also grew well, but we don’t want something that spicy in the garden that the kids might eat.  We also didn’t cook enough with them.

-Remains to be seen…not sure if they got enough light as the pepper plants grew over them.

-Basil: produced best in the hanging Topsy Turvy planter.  Still could have used more.
-Rosemary: doing well in both raised bed and in the ground (from last year). Need to cut and dry more during the summer.
-Parsley: got dwarfed by the pepper plants. Did curly this year, prefer flat leaf italian parsley instead.
-Cilantro: grew well…too well.  Bolted at the end of June.  Would love to have it all season long so I can use it for homemade salsa when the tomatoes are ripe.
-Thyme: going strong in the ground
-Oregano: a transplant from my stepmother’s garden, I’m hoping this takes and grows back next year.

Thank you to Soil and Seed for installing our large raised bed.  Everything in the garden grew well and the soil was amazing.  I would recommend this for anyone in the local area looking to increase their gardening space next year.

How did your garden grow?  Any tips for planning next year?

All my favorite garden helpers