The annual Golden Week holiday has just passed, which is usually when I plant my vegetable garden each year. I was full of anticipation as it was the final cog in my fledgling forest garden. So I was full of joy as I stuffed the ground full of all kinds of seedlings on Tuesday. I save the details of exactly what I planted for future blog posts, but it’s all pretty standard vegetable garden fare.
Here’s the main keyhole garden that contains the bulk of the vegetables. It’s hard to see, but all the seeds I cast about a few weeks ago (lettuce, radish, etc.) are staring to come in pretty well. The trellis/pole structure along the back of the bed will support tomatoes and cucumbers, which will provide a great green screen to add some privacy on the front porch. Unfortunately those plants were in a pretty poor state when I got home from work this evening. Maybe I underestimated the strength and heat today and didn’t water enough, but I’ve been pretty obsessive about that, so I’m not sure what’s going on.
And the smaller bed in the side yard, which get’s a little less intense sun, so I planted things that didn’t appreciate full sun last summer. In general I’ve spread things out rather than plant the same type of plants all together. This hopefully will make life more difficult for pests that like to climb from one plant to the next gobbling up all my hard work. Although the yard is pretty infested with caterpillars of various types right now, so nothing is really safe. Eventually all these forest garden components like pest confusers and beneficial insect attractors should balance that out, but for now it’s free range on my poor plants for the pesky bugs.
The most vigorous plants in the garden right now are red clover and rape blossom, whose seeds I broadcast in the fall as green manure. When I churned up the soil in late winter and started moving things around to create the new beds everything got moved around, so now I have clover and rape all over the place. It looks a bit unkempt, but the flowers are bringing in bees and also providing some greenery, and when it eventually dies or I cut it down it will provide nitrogen to the soil, so I’m letting it go wild for the time being.
Such glorious days around here recently. From this angle my plot looks pretty big, and it is by suburban Japanese standards. The young red clover (planted in late winter) is really coming in thick around the blueberry bushes. I read somewhere that it was a good ground cover for blueberries. Now that I see how large it’s grown in other parts of the yard I’m wondering if it was the right choice…my blubbery plants aren’t that big!
Getting greener by the day…