Seed Swaps

All plans out the window

28 May 2009
14°C / 58°F

I have not followed my spring gardening plan for the community plot or my backyard. I usually deviate from my plans somewhat, but this year, I’ve completely abandoned them.

It all started with the onions and carrots. I had planned to grow onions and carrots at the community plot, thinking that these long-standing, single-harvest plants would be easier to maintain there than plants that need continual harvesting (like beans and greens). But the soil at the community plot is clay, and once I started digging in it, I despaired of getting decent-sized onions or carrots out of it, so I planted 90% of my onions in the backyard instead, and split my carrots between the backyard and the community plot.

That meant that I no longer had room for the beans I had planned to put in the backyard garden, so those now have to planted at the community garden. That’s no biggie, except that it makes isolation imperative if I want to save seeds from the purple longbeans, which I do. In addition to the longbeans (already planted, mostly for fresh eating), I’m also going to put in the following:

  • Royalty purple pod bush beans (already planted) for fresh eating
  • Soybeans (a small amount, for edamame for Mr. Katxena), will be planted around June 1
  • Dragon tongue beans (for shelly beans, fresh and frozen), will be planted around June 21.

Since all those beans are going into the community plot now, I decided to plant more of them than I would have at home. So now I don’t really have room for the salsify I wanted to plant. There’s room for 1-2 salsify plants at home, but that’s it. That’s ok, because they are just an experiment any way.

The real problem is what to do with my northeast bed, which currently holds my spring greens. I had planned on replacing these with carrots and beets for harvesting in early fall, then growing my Fall greens in the southwest bed after the beans, but since I now have onions in the bean spot, that won’t work. So now what? I have about 2-1/2 months between when the spring greens will go to seed and the fall greens need to be planted. Do I leave that bed empty until then? That seriously goes against the grain. What can I plant there that will mature in only 2 months? I can put a podding radish there, but after that I’m stumped. Do you have any ideas?




What about annual herbs such as different varieties of basil? In our weather, it will be going to seed around the time you’ll want the space – if not a little earlier.

I would be tempted to grow long season items in the space in the bed and try to grow my fall greens in containers – perhaps the same ones you use for winter-sowing.

Let us know what you end up doing.

Posted on 28 May 09 (about 10 years ago)


Folia Helper

United States7

Containers are a good idea — the only trouble is that I grow too many greens. My beds are 32 square feet, and I filled one full of greens this spring, and it was just enough for my husband and I . I didn’t have any to give away. I’m going to look into herbs that I’m not already growing, that’s also a good idea.

Posted on 29 May 09 (about 10 years ago)

Wow, you truly are a greens fiend! :-)

Bush beans are a pretty quick crop, too, and you get the bonus of having them improve the soil.

Posted on 29 May 09 (about 10 years ago)


Folia Helper

United States7

Ooops, I made a mistake — My whole garden is 32 square feet, laid out in 2 beds that are 16 square feet each. I have 1 bed in greens, which means 16 square feet of greens. I’m only half the fiend you thought I was. :)

Posted on 30 May 09 (about 10 years ago)

LOL! That does make more sense! But still impressive.

Posted on 31 May 09 (about 10 years ago)

You could treat it as a nursery bed for 2 months. Seeding things heavily and then planting out to other places (beds, or community garden, or friends), or potting up for fall harvest, or even winter plants indoors, or plant gifts of herbs and things for the winter holidays.

Posted on 31 May 09 (about 10 years ago)

Would you like to add a comment? Sign up for a free account, or log in if you're already a member.



Germantown, Maryland

United States

Previous Journals

Later Journals