What’s Going in the Garden, 2016 Edition (and the Mystery Plant Solved! Maybe.)

As has become something of a tradition, it’s that time of year where we share what’s in and going into the garden. It’s also that time of year where we get to show off our completely non-existent graphic design skills with our super wonky-looking planting maps! Ah, well. They may not be pretty, but they work for us. So without further ado…

014Planting map 2016 - long bed
First, in the longest and largest of our planting beds, it’s all beans, all the time. In previous years, we’ve planted other things here, like squash, cucumbers, corn, sunflowers, and soybeans. But none of those crops has done as well as bush beans and pole beans. So, we’ve got bush beans on the sides and pole beans in the center, with the addition of various garden peas being planted right next to the fence.

 

014Planting map 2016 - plastic barrels
Next, in the plastic drums we’re sticking with peppers and tomatoes. However, because of how poorly our peppers seeds have done this year, we may only put a few, if any out. (That actually goes for the tomatoes, as well.) In any unused barrels we’ll be planting soybeans. Maybe the squirrels will steer clear of them this year!
Moving on to the raised beds, we've stuck with peas in one and lettuces in the other.
Moving on to the raised beds, we’ve stuck with peas in one and lettuces in the other.
And the same set up we had last year in the other raised beds, goes this year: cucumbers in one and greens in the other.
And the same set up we had last year in the other raised beds, goes this year: cucumbers in one and mixed greens in the other.
On the side of the house, we're putting tomatoes again. However, if we don't have enough tomatoes, a few of the spots might get some okra seeds. We'll see.
On the side of the house, we’re putting tomatoes again. And this time we’re adding broccoli and brussel sprouts. If we don’t have enough tomatoes, a few of the spots might get some okra seeds. We’ll see.
In the first stone bed where we contened with the "tomatoe" jungle last year, we're putting more tomatoes. And, as well, keeping an eye on our asparagus, which we hope we'll actually get to harvest this year (year three since planting). No signs of a jungle forming here...yet.
In the first stone bed where we contended with the “tomato” jungle last year, we’re putting more tomatoes. And, as well, keeping an eye on our asparagus, which we hope we’ll actually get to harvest this year (year three since planting). No signs of a jungle forming here…yet.
In the other stone bed we're putting only squash and melons. Last year we put squash and tomatoes in here together, and it became much too crowded. Not sure it'll be any less crowded, but hopefully the plot will get more sun in keeping with thelower plantes. (Lower realtively to full grown tomatoes, that is.)
In the other stone bed we’re putting only squash and melons. Last year we put squash and tomatoes in here together, and it became much too crowded. Not sure it’ll be any less crowded, but hopefully the plot will get more sun in keeping with the lower plants. (“Lower” relative to full grown tomatoes, that is.)
And finally, in the barrel planters, we've got radishes, ground cherries, and huckleberries. Plenty of variety, and the radishes should be done before the other plants, though we'll probably re-seed the radishes depending on what we get.
And finally, in the barrel planters, we’ve got radishes, ground cherries, and huckleberries. Plenty of variety, and the radishes should be done before the other plants, though we’ll probably re-seed the radishes depending on what we get.

So this year’s garden represents a mix of tried & true and new ideas. Thankfully, the weather is getting better — warmer, less rain — so we should be good to go for some in-ground planting soon. Maybe not this coming weekend, but the week after for sure. We did get outside this past weekend (oh, how nice it was to see the sun after a full week and then some of doom and gloom!), but the yard remained far too wet and soggy to really be in for any length of time. Still, it was great to be out in the sun.

Oh, and we think we have any update on that mystery plant we shared a couple weeks ago!

Mystery seedling #3

After a ton more searching on the Internet and comparing pictures, we’re about 80% sure that what we have growing here are shingle oaks.

OAK_SHINGLE_form

What brought us to this conclusion was seeds. Well, acorns, specifically. In addition to the seedlings we have going, and they’re still going), we found one more cell in one of the seed trays that contained the inklings of a similar plant. We pulled that one up to find not one but three round seeds all rooted together! All three had the very distinct shape of an acorn, and one still had the flattened, indented top on which one would usually find an acorn’s “hat.”

This find led us to the oak family; and the shingle oak, though not exactly found often in our region, was the only one with leaves that seemed to match the shape and side of the leave on our seedlings. (Who knew that not all oak tress had those distinct, fluted leaves? We certainly didn’t!) This also somewhat makes sense given the number of small acorns that we’ve been finding outside in the garden beds. Who the heck knows where the squirrels got them from! And it’s possible that one of the trees in our yard, or a nearby yard, is a shingle oak. We’ve not done that investigation yet.

So, hey, maybe we’re growing oak trees! That’s kind of awesome. We we’re kind of hoping they were cherry trees, but those they definitely are not. Too bad, that.

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