My last cold season garden didn’t happen- mainly because the sides of my vegetable garden beds were caving in towards each other. It made me unhappy every time I went out there which meant I went out less and less. Finally, John took pity on me and rebuilt it. We even improved it by making a pass through path at the back of the garden. So now, instead of looking like beds in the shape of an “E”, it looks like a “U” with an “I” ticked in the middle.
Dirt got put back in, then I reinstalled the drip irrigation and micro-sprinklers, taking care to bury the tubing below the new pass through path. Then we reinstalled the two 16′ long cattle panel trellises. I will never garden without these things again- they are such space savers when you can have cucumbers, beans, squash, etc growing up them.
Finally it was time to plant. Tomatoes, ancho pepper, tricolor pole beans, japanese and pickling cucumbers, Italian squash, and tomatillos. Perhaps space for an few okra in a few weeks. My last step is to add the mulch back, but I am finding it humorous to see what seeds the dirt turnover is revealing- lots of volunteer tomato plants and even marigold seeds from a year ago.
Those little red and white cups you see in the photos are for protection against cutworm- the love to get my hopes up as the plant gets settled and then dash them by coming along and severing the whole plant off. A simple cup or even the 4″ nursery pot with the bottom cut out and placed around the plant will protect from them. And I used cupcake cups to put around the Italian squash plant stems. This has the added bonus of keeping the moth from laying the squash vine borer eggs deep around the stem at ground level. They are easier to find higher up on the plant. Squash vine borer…my nemesis…grrrr. So my new weapons, cupcake cups and Bt powder. And every few days I go out and crush any eggs I find between my fingernails. Funny, you can even see a tomato volunteer coming up next to the squash plant with the white cup around it.
Here’s the view from the back looking out at both gates. See how John built the nice high beds for me so when I’m old I can still be the gardener lady on the block with plenty of cucumbers to offer neighbors? So sweet.