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The better late then never veggie garden.

 
gardener
Posts: 800
Location: N. California
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2021 is proving to be a very challenging year for me.  I wont bore you with the story, but garden wise if it could go wrong, it went wrong twice.  I have been slowly converting my raised beds in my veggie garden to hugel beets.  I started after Christmas of 2020.  I removed the fence surrounding the garden, and got to work.  From that time to now I have started and stopped working on the garden many times.  I can't even say I'm finished even now.  I am at a point I can plant.  The only unfinished part is I still need to put wood chips in about half of the paths.   I live in N. California, so I should have planted my garden about 2, 2 and 1/2 months ago.  To say I'm getting a late start is a huge understatement!  My son said why bother? Just wait and plant the fall garden.  No veggies?  No zucchini, or watermelon, or peppers?  No just no.  I bought large veggies, at the nursery's, which were actually a good price, because they know it's getting late.  The few things I planted by seed will grow, or it wont.  I know the beans will be fine because I know you can keep planting them until June.  The radishes will be to hot to eat, but they will still be a great companion plant.  The bunching onions, and flower seeds I through in there are anyone's guess, but it will be fun to see what pops up.
Usually when I plant my garden I have very detailed notes.  I document what it is what brand of seed, or plant and all info needed for the future.  This year I wrote down all the plants and veggie seeds.  Then while I was planting I got water in the bag holding the flower, bunching onions, and radish.  I only have a short time until I have to get ready for work, so I broadcast the seeds in the beds, sprinkle a layer of compost on the top and water.  I guess it should be The better late then never random veggie garden.  I can't wait to see what grows.
 
pollinator
Posts: 271
Location: WV
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Jen, you can chalk this year up to experimentation.  You may find some things perform better than you expected.  I too have fallen behind on the note-taking as I figured I could go back and gather the information from the plant tags.  Problem is some of those plants have been potted up twice and some are in the ground so I doubt I can account for everything.

I'm a bit behind planting as well as I still have some cold-hardy crops that should have been in the ground but ran out of room. No problem, I thought until hubby is down and I find myself doing all the outside chores as well as finishing up our schooling for the year.  Now tomato and pepper plants are strewn about in the garden as well as their new bed is still waiting to be built (supplies are ready) and the plant sale I planned for the excess had to be postponed.  

I still have herb, perennials, annual flowers and alpine strawberry seeds to start as well.  The herb bed is also in a state where the supplies are ready but it will take at least a day to move the existing plants and another day to place the stones, bricks and drainage tiles in a configuration that suits me.  
 
gardener
Posts: 661
Location: Ontario - Currently in Zone 4b
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Jen - my neighbours all think I am crazy for starting my garden so early even though everything I have in it is frost tolerant. Last frost date isn't technically until this Monday, but I have been cautioned it is better to plant things in another week or two. Plenty of time to grow a garden before September frost :)

It's all in how you think of it, eh?

Plant what you can, is all I can say. Plenty of season left.
 
pollinator
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Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
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Jen, sometimes circumstances overwhelm. C'est la vie. It happens to all of us. Don't sweat it.

You have plants and seeds in the ground, and they will produce food. That's a win. Period.
 
Jen Fulkerson
gardener
Posts: 800
Location: N. California
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So far so good.  The veggie plants are already growing new leaves, and one tomato and one egg plant have started to grow.  Radish and I think marigolds are already popping out of the soil. I love to go out and find something new every day.  Besides eating what I have grown, this is my favorite part.
 
gardener
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Location: Southern Illinois
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Jen, I am with you.

Do to a multitude of circumstances, my gardening season is still not started yet, but I hope to by early June.  I will probably only be planting some tomatoes and pole beans—just enough to get some roots in the ground and a little bit of food on the table.  I wish things had worked out differently, but circumstances—mostly happy ones, kids graduating—got in the way.

I say go with the experimental year and see what you can get.

Eric
 
Jen Fulkerson
gardener
Posts: 800
Location: N. California
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Things are going surprisingly well.  We ate our first zucchini yesterday.  I have baby yellow squash, and about 4 kinds of zucchini.  I predict my family, friends, and I will be sick of squash by the end of summer.  I have several tomatoes growing, and a few peppers.  The basil, and chives look great. No surprise radish are growing fast.  I have two japanese egg plants about 4" long. The beans are growing well. I was reading they won't produce if the weather is over 90 degrees.  This is strange because it says on the charts for my zone I can plant beans through the month of June.  It's rare for us to have temperature under 90 in June.  So we will see.  I got lots of beans Last year, but planted much earlier.  A lot of the flowers didn't germinate.  Maybe it's to hot, maybe the seeds were old.  I will try again.  All things considered it's doing well.
 
Posts: 46
Location: S.W. France
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Fabulous, already !
So it was a good experiment !

Your garden's far further ahead than mine, my tomatoes and courgettes are flowering but not fruiting yet, and I haven't even bothered to do any hand pollinating, as I'm still planting some things out (just planted some cucumbers, hoping they're big enough to fend off the slugs, and looking for room to bung some flowers in).
And of course people in cooler climates are only just past their frost dates, as Catie points out !
I guess you were worried about heat and drought, is that right ?
But your having done a hugelculture should presumably mean your roots will be getting more humidity. And I wouldn't be too religeous about trying to be economical with water this year, if it were me.  
If heat turns out to be a problem, shading things on the hottest days /hottest parts of the day can be very useful, as I've discovered with our temperatures having risen a lot in the last few years.

Enjoy your better late than never garden (and its produce), hope it provides inspiration for others !
 
Jen Fulkerson
gardener
Posts: 800
Location: N. California
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I thought I would give a little update.  My garden is done ✅. I very happy with how it turned out.
I planted veggie plants and seeds a month ago and and most everything is doing great.  I have never had such huge a beautiful zucchini and squash.  They are producing almost every day.  It is truly amazing.  I have several tomatoes, and 1 is almost ripe.  I have 3 poblano peppers.  The rest of the pepper plants are just starting to flower. The golden egg squash I planted from seed a month ago is not only large, it has several baby squash, we will be eating it very soon.  Everything else is good.  I really didn't expect to get much out of the garden this year, I'm so glad I went ahead and planted so late.  So far the only thing that aren't out performing Last year are the flowers. They are slow to germinate, and grow.
It's funny how people see things in such a different way.  A few of the beds didn't have any of the seeds I threw in germinate.  So it is just the veggies plans I bought, and my son thinks those beds look better than any I have ever had.  One bed it seemed everything germinated, and is already crowded.  That is the one I like best.  My son just sees it as messy.  I see all the diversity. This is my living mulch bed.  Happy gardening all.
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