One of the "problems" (I use the term lightly) with the newly installed back garden is that it's rather... empty. A lot of the plants are still small, and they'll fill in eventually, but not yet. Combine this with my laziness re: mulching so far, and the beds look sad:
|This was still during construction - that stick in the middle is a Vitex agnus-castus|
The answer (for this year) was vegetables! I've always liked growing them, but have never really had the room for them. I grew tomatoes and herbs in containers, which was dangerous because I would forget to water, but never vine crops like melons. But now I have plently of room, and late may/early June is the right time to plant those heat-loving crops. So I went and got:
|All the plants were planted over Memorial Day Weekend, which might be a little late...|
Some melons: Honeydew, Cantelope and 2 types of watermelon: yellow and 'Sugar Baby'
Sweet peppers: red and orange
And peas (it's technically too late for peas, so we'll see how that goes...)
The 'Green Zebra', Honeydew and Orange peppers went in the bed with the buddleja :
|This bed in particular was very empty|
|This bed (like the rest) basically gets full sun (all day).|
|The two beds are sort-of symmetrical - I like the combo of order & disorder...|
|I didn't crop out my sprinkler valves (ugly!) because this picture shows what the Optunia looked like when the vegetables were planted...|
Of the four pea plants, only 1 was still alive by the end of the week... So that didn't work too well.
Now I'm excited to see how they'll grow! I also have to figure out cages vs. stakes for the tomatoes... But before I buy (or build) anything, I want to see if they'll live! I did build little watering basins around each plant, so I can water them deeply a few times a week (in addition to the sprinkers) as needed. I also sprinkled some Sluggo around them to make sure the snails don't get all of them.
So an update about a month later - it worked!/ is working! Everything is still alive, although one of the pepper plants is a little sad. And they're filling in the blank spaces between the plants like I hoped.
Here's the bed with the butterfly bush:
|Honeydew, buddleja and tomato. This tomato has grown the biggest so far...|
And the cantaloupe with the red yucca and blooming Coreopsis verticillata 'Route 66'. You can also see the 2nd tomato in the background.
|The canteloupe seems happy, and yuccas seem unbothered (as they are by just about anything)|
|The yellow in the background is Coreopsis pubescens 'Moonshine'.|
The biggest surprise has been the Sugar Baby watermelon. It really likes its spot next to the Optunia:
|Maybe its all the extra heat from the walls? But its been in the 90's/100's most of the month.|
That little plant in the back is a Feathery Cassia (Senna artemisloides). It's supposed to get bigger and hide the sprinkler valves. The Optunia has also been putting a bunch of new pads, maybe it's inspired by the watermelon:
|This compared to the Optunia just a month ago (see picture above) is crazy! It's made 10 new pads!|
The yellow watermelon and peas still have some growing to do, but are also filling in:
|That's the last remaining pea bush in the back. I'm not sure how happy it is.|
|Canteloupe on top, watermelon on bottom. We're going to have a lot of watermelon this year!|
I'm sure there will be more updates later in the summer. I'm so excited, and the plant are growing so quickly! Next year I might do this again, any maybe try planning and getting started a bit earlier....