The Dream Vegetable Garden
Every gardener imagines having a dream vegetable garden that is designed and laid out to fit your ideal gardening needs on the homestead. This past year, Travis has established a new area on his homestead that is designed as his dream vegetable garden. The dream garden is designed with six subplots that are all around 30 x 35 in size. The subplots are important to ensure that the area can be more manageable and workable. Another benefit of subplots is the ability to move crops around the plots to establish a steady crop rotation system and avoid harsh pest and disease pressures.
Producing Any Crops in the Garden
On this week’s episode, Travis is doing a walk around the dream garden to show whether any crops are growing or working well in the area. Since the dream vegetable garden is a new area that is being managed and worked on the soil is harder to work with because it has never been used to grow any crops on. To get the area more workable, Travis will need to grow some beneficial cover crops, add some organic matter, and adjust the pH levels in the soil. The first subplot that was planted on in the vegetable garden was potatoes. Since it was the first crop to be planted he has already harvested and stored all the early varieties of potatoes such as the red potatoes, purple, and the Yukon Gold. However, in the garden area, there are still three rows of German Butterball potatoes to be harvested. As the potato varieties are harvested, Travis comes in with the tiller to level out the soil after digging potatoes so it will be prepared for the next crop to be planted soon. On the second plot, all of the cucurbits are planted such as summer squash and cucumbers. The summer squash is planted in the middle, while the cucumbers are planted on the cattle panels along the outside of the plot. In the garden, there is one row of the Calypso pickling cucumbers and one row of the Stonewall variety which is slicing cucumbers. The summer squash have done well in the plot except for a few that were lost due to disease problems that need to be controlled better in the future. However, Travis has been able to harvest a pretty good amount of summer squash and cucumbers from the vegetable garden. In the next plot, he has Rattlesnake Pole Beans on a trellis as well as indeterminate and determinate tomatoes. The Sun Gold tomatoes are producing an excellent cluster of tomatoes at the base of the plant and are continuing to produce along the rows. Travis has three rows of determinate tomatoes such as Mountain Glory, Brickyard, and Bella Rosa varieties all on the Florida Weave trellis. In the south, it can be kind of tough to grow tomatoes because of the high disease pressures, but they are producing really well so far in the vegetable garden. In the fourth plot, Travis is growing peppers and eggplants which are part of the nightshade family. He just established new stakes for trellising and added wheat straw to help manage the weed pressures. While in the fifth plot there is Incredible Sweet Corn growing and the six plot contains winter squash which includes the Small Wonder Spaghetti and the Hai Kabocha.