Beyond "Knee High by the 4th of July"

An experiment in vegetable gardening

By the Ides of March

March 13th, 2013

Since the lion’s share of cool season vegetables should be in by March 15th, I spent today planting most of the rest of my garden.

I started with putting 9 Bonnie Spinach transplants in the bed with the radishes.  I’m really counting on the radishes to be good companions and lure away any pesky leafminers from the spinach so I don’t have to use many pesticides.  This spinach variety is purportedly “slow to bolt” which I’ve learned means it won’t go to seed as quickly once warm weather comes to stay.  I hope that means a few extra months of spinach for salads, omelets, and lasagna.

Spinach collage

Speaking of lasagna, up next were a few additions to my herb garden.  The curled and Italian flat leaf parsley overwintered as did the lime green thyme, the golden oregano, and the chives.  Since I love sweet basil and sage, I decided to go ahead and put those back in where they were last year and then have fun looking around for some different herbs to plant in the 2 open spots.

I really like the biodegradable pots that the Bonnie Plants company uses.  It sure makes it easy to plant and it feels good not to be throwing away all the plastic containers and cell packs.

Herb garden collage

Then it was on to the Buttercrunch Bibb and Red Sails lettuce.  I chose them because they too are “slow to bolt” and have both earned the coveted All-America Selection (which are the tried and true varieties perfect for a beginner like me).  I planted them in the largest center bed so they’d have plenty of room to grow.  The transplants already look good enough to eat. Which reminds me that I need to figure out what pests are waiting to swoop in and eat my salad!  The insects definitely got the best of me in Round 1.  I’m determined to win Round 2.

Buttercrunch and red lettuce collage

Planting lettuce as Chik looks on

Iceberg lettuce is Bruce’s favorite so I made sure to put in 9 transplants.  I can’t imagine that they are actually going to grow to look anything like the heads of iceberg lettuce you see at the Teeter but I’m hopeful I’ll get something loosely resembling them.  Since iceberg lettuce grows best in cool temperatures, I planted them under the chicken wire hoop so that I can provide some shade as the weather warms up.

Iceberg lettuce bed collage

Last up were the Premium Crop Broccoli (another All-America Selection) and the Lacinato Kale.  While to my knowledge I have never eaten kale, after my friend Heather endorsed it and I found out Thomas Jefferson grew this very variety at Monticello, I decided I had to give it a try.  The broccoli is on the left; the kale on the right.  Aren’t they beautiful already?

Broccoli and kale collageAfter everything was planted it was time to water it all in.  Navi scampered over to supervise.  She sure makes a great garden companion – just like radishes and spinach.

Navi helps with the watering in


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Beyond "Knee High by the 4th of July"

An experiment in vegetable gardening