I'm continuing my polyculture gardening experiments this year. It's my "lazy" gardening technique that has been working out well. No neat rows and clean weeded beds for me.
I've been sowing early spring cold weather seeds and planting onion sets. I have my map of succession planting based on 4 basic groups and 4 additional subgroups that I meticulously worked out last fall.
So this year's tomato bed has garlic that were planted last fall along the path, and onions sets that I planted in the last couple of weeks along the outer edges. I sowed various root veggies -- carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, radishes as well as leafy greens like lettuce and Swiss chard earlier, and this week, sowed more carrots, beets, and spinach seeds. I'm not marking them so I've no idea where they went. As a result, I happily discovered some parsnip seeds that have just germinated with their tiny root tip radicles just starting to grow (I gently patted them back in place).
Last year's hot pepper bed has been planted with broccoli transplants. In the process, I found sprouting Fava beans -- I just planted the broccoli where Fava beans weren't. With some luck and good timing, this bed will later hold melons. I also sowed radish seeds. Some of them will be allowed to bolt and flower to attract beneficial insects that hopefully will help protect the melon vines. And the outer edge has sentinels of garlic here as well.
Last year's sauce tomato bed was planted with the largest Romanesco broccoli and cauliflower, and onion transplants, with additional beet and radish seeds. I'm hoping to grow bush beans, possibly pinkeyes, and watermelon here later on.
Last year's main tomato bed has been path-edged with garlic and being the best protected and warmest bed, the Fava's have already popped out of the ground as well as the Telephone pole peas and a variety of greens including Red Russian Kale and mustards. I'm still not sure if I sowed enough peas, especially after reading the crowded peas thread. But last year, I had the same trepidation and sowed another row right next to the row I sowed earlier, and they ALL came up. I plan on growing corn here later on along with squash or pumpkins and beans, of course.
I planted 5 sunchokes in the front yard.... in a circle on a mound where I had tried to grow Ilex opaca last year, but it died. I plan to surround the mound with landscaping wall blocks (from Home Depot ) and fill with mix of sand and loam. It's far enough inside out property line that I won't have to worry about the neighbors having a conniption about an invasion (or unwanted overspray of chemicals, etc from their landscaping efforts), and I'll have the chance to put a stop to it if the 'chokes head in their direction.
I had to walk around the property twice before settling on where to put the rest of the sunchoke tubers:
Along the back fence, I have two piles of English ivy compost pile. My previous next door neighbor thought it was great to grow English ivy along his back fence. Of course they promptly escaped into the wooded area behind his property, and they are now doing their best to move into ours. So every spring, I yank them up and pile them up in a separate pile from my garden compost piles.
I decided to combine the two English ivy piles into one since they had reduced to less than 1/2 their original size. And WOW the wonderful loam underneath was a delight! I shoveled good 3 to 4 inches of the stuff out for other uses, then loosened up the soil a bit and planted the sunchokes. It's meant to be a holding area. It's not an ideal spot, somewhat shady. I'm hoping there are enough factors to limit their reputed enthusiastic impulse to spread and concur. If they manage to hold against the English Ivy, all the better. In any case, since this bed will be thoroughly disturbed for harvesting, I can pull up the ivy to my hearts content.
Since I had all this lovely inviting bare soil, I made a mixture of seeds -- breadseed poppy, cleome, radish, carrots, parsnips, onion, and I don't remember what else -- and sowed them on the surface. I don't know what will happen, but my main intent was to have enough *desirable* seeds as well as weed seeds here rather than letting just the weeds grow.
Well, I could go on, but I already seem to have written a novel.