New garden plants

By John, 24 May, 2023

Today I went on my lunch break and picked up some plants for my garden.

I was going to plant them after work and take a picture of them in the ground, but it took so long, there was no light left to get the photo. 

Then I was going to try to just draw a diagram, I fought with some diagramming software, then I said, "this is dumb, I can draw a picture", and by the time I drew the picture and annnotated it, it still didn't look great. So I decided to just explain what's going on with words. 

I have a garden plot that is 40 feet by 9 and a half feet. There is a 20 foot chunk in the front that is straight dirt. Then a 10 foot by 9.5 foot chunk that is the old tree stump that is slowly decomposing. Then another 10 foot by 9.5 foot chunk that is the back half of the garden. This back half can't be plowed, so I do hand tilling only.

I have a small asparagus patch back here, and recently I have been planting garlic. This is nice because I can plant the garlic in the fall, throw a bunch of leaves on it, and occasionally weed it, and it all works out, it's a lot easier than trying to hand till the whole thing for tomatoes or something. Lots of thistles grow back here, after we got a bad batch of compost that mostly made it back to this corner of the garden only.

The thistles are deeply annoying. I used to try to get them out by the root but this part of the garden is far more clay than dirt, the slightest tug and the thistles break off just under the soil surface. So I would have to get a shovel because they form a root 14 - 18 inches down. It just meant massive, massive holes in the garden, hard to deal with once you have established plants, and it took a while to get everything out. Recently I switched to just aggressively hoeing the whole area. It takes a lot less time, and maybe I can slowly starve the roots out. I made the mistake of missing one plant a couple of years ago, so there were a bunch of seeds that escaped so I think I'll be dealing with these for a while.

This year I have some onions around the stump. I might plant some things on the stump, we will see.

With a 20x9.5 foot space, I have experimented with lots of layouts. Zig-zags, gentle curves, grids, but I generally come back to three rows, with two paths between them. Here is what I have planted so far, mostly so I can go back to this later when I have forgotten what is what.

The northernmost row is row number 1, going from east to west (from the entrance to the stump); all plants are 18-36 inches apart.

Row 1:

2 basil plants

8 peppers. The label at the farmers market said "Sweet Cayenne (Jimmy Nardello)", I don't know how accurate it is because I got these from the local Hmong market, and as English is a second language, I've had mixups before. I'm 95 percent sure these are a sweet pepper, but I've gotten "Sweet Cayenne" from this same seller and they definitely were not Jimmy Nardellos in the past. So I'd say 60 percent sure they are real Jimmy Nardellos. 

2 red sweet peppers. These had a picture and she said they were sweet peppers but I didn't write down the variety. I think it's Corno di Toro maybe.

Row 2:

6 Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes

3 Federle tomatoes (these 3 tomatoes were the only seeds I started that actually made it and didn't die due to a misadventure with a rough cold stnap right after transplanting them into larger containers)

4 Early Girl tomatoes

2 Striped German tomatoes

Row 3:

4 sweet green peppers. I didn't write down the exact variety, all I know is she said they were delicious when roasted, and that I should pick them when they are green. I think, after some googling, it's Shishito.

2 pickling cucumbers (to grow against the south fence)

4 Bishops hat peppers (supposed to be a thin walled medium hot red pepper)

2 white cucumbers to grow against the fence)

2 Jalapeno

4 Habenero

2 Ghost peppers

I still have 2 Corno di Toro plants that I need to find a place for, and 4 Thai hot purple peppers. 

This year, the kids decided they didn't want to grow Carolina Reapers and Dragons Breath peppers, after two of them tried eating a Dragon's Breath pepper raw with no milk. Didn't do well with ghost peppers last year though, a deer came and grazed the plants to the ground. Hopefully that doesn't happen this year.