The raised vegetables beds have been planted periodically since early March. The cold weather spinach and kale went in first and I used thick plastic as row covers to keep them toasty. A few weeks later I added carrots, lettuces, beets and parsnips. The plastic have given all those vegetables a great start and they are flourishing! We’re eating kale chips and salads almost every night, with plenty leftover for the chickens (who are doing very well).

The indoor seedlings were ready to move outside, under the safety of the plastic row covers for those early, cold nights. After a couple weeks of carefully watching and watering them, the plastic came off about a week ago and was replaced with plastic bird netting. The netting has allowed bees in, but kept the chickens and cats out. The tomatoes, peppers, and soybeans are all happy and seem like they will make it. They just need to be watched and watered carefully still until they get a bit bigger.

I am including an image of my garden plan this year. I try to ensure I am rotating crops, so lettuce isn’t planted in the same place as last year and the same for the other veggies. If something was eating your broccoli last year, for example, that pest could have overwintered in the soil, ready to chow down again this year. Planting in a new spot makes it harder for them to find their favorite treat.

I am also trying harder to be less anal about all the carrots being in one place, all the tomatoes here, etc. I think it looks beautiful to have things all mixed together. It also reduces pest issues! If I have something bothering my tomatoes, the pest can chow down in one area while other tomatoes grow safely further away.

After several days of hard rain, the sunshine has rolled back in and everything is shooting up overnight! This will be a great vegetable season at our house and I am excited for our new renters (we rented our house!) to move in to some fresh veggies.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson