This is our fourth of year gardening in our DIY cedar raised beds. Every year we mix it up a little bit as we learn; gardening this way is definitely different than gardening in our old traditional in-ground plot. In some ways, it's easier...in other ways, much more difficult! We kicked ourselves from not planting a cover crop last winter, because the beds and the paths were infiltrated by grasses and weeds from the pasture, making planting prep really difficult. We got our garden in LATE, planting seedlings and seeds June 21.
Some differences this year:
1) We built an 8' cedar privacy fence along our southern property line, and in addition to slightly increasing the breeze (concentrated through the spaces between the boards and overtop of the fence), it feels warmer near the beds closest to the fence. It may or may not be warmer, but it will be interesting to see how things grow.
2) We're learning that everything is more difficult with a toddler! Duh. While we normally source our seeds and seedlings at various places in Olympia and Lewis County, this year I bought everything at Sunbirds Shopping Center in Chehalis with an increasingly irritated toddler in the cart.
Here's what we're trying this year:
Detroit Dark Red beets (Ed Hume seeds) - we've loved this variety in the past. We planted an entire 4x8' bed full. We'll probably freeze what we don't eat fresh, as trying to can in our current kitchen makes me crazy.
Blue Lake bush beans (Ed Hume seeds) - we've struggled with pole beans in the raised beds, plus Asher is big enough to help pick now, so we thought it would be fun to keep the beans low for him
Gourmet Blend Lettuce (Ed Hume seeds) - I tucked seeds in among the tomatoes and the zucchini seedlings
Rainbow Blend Carrots (Ed Hume seeds) - I've never grown carrots, but I thought these would be fun for our little guy
No brassicas this year. It's too hot and dry, and we heard reports of bolting crops as early as April.
Brandywine tomato - 1 plant
Mortgage Lifter tomato - 1 plant (I've always wanted I try these!)
Black Price tomato - 1 plant
Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes - 2 plants (Asher loves tomatoes!)
Zucchini - 3 seedlings this year
Mini watermelon - 1 robust plant (Paul threw out the plant tags before I got a chance to jot down the variety or harvest time)
dahlias (tubers from Paul's mom, who sells cut flowers)