My 2014 Garden is Off and Running

Boy oh boy have we had an amazing run of weather up here in the Pacific Northwest. We've had unseasonably warm (but comfortable) weather and my garden is LOVING it. I had great success this year starting seeds thanks in part to my new room where I started the seeds then last year's purchase of a small greenhouse and also the bigger greenhouse I built last fall (uhhhh, did I forget to blog about that?). We moved hundreds of seedlings through the three spaces this year as my husband also started many ornamentals from seed. I'm so excited to see the fruits of his labors but right now most are still just small plants and aren't even close to flowering.

This year I'm growing a few favorites again as well as trying some new ones. Here's the master list
  • Apple trees - 2
  • Basil
  • Beans - Cherokee Trail of Tears Black - about 200 plants
  • Bloomsdale Spinach - I can't grow this stuff successfully to save my life, it keeps bolting on me but I keep trying.
  • Blueberry bushes - 3 varieties, 2 plants each
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cherry tree - 1
  • Corn - Tom Thumb Popping variety. Growing in 3 blocks in the same patch for succession harvesting. Will have around 50 plants after I plant the last block.
  • Cucumber - Mexican sour gherkin, 24 plants I just started from seed
  • Cucumber - National pickling variety. 3 in the ground with more just started. I lost several as seedlings, like truly lost, couldn’t find them then I discovered them and 3 survived.
  • Dill
  • Eggplant - Asian Trio
  • Garlic
  • Huckleberry bushes - 4
  • Kale - last year's plant JUST died after pulling through the winter. We enjoyed a lot of kale and now I have 2 new ones coming up.
  • Lemon Balm (technically my 6 year old's plant and it too is from last year)
  • Lettuce - Buttercrunch - just started, still in the seed tray
  • Lettuce - Mesculun in three 2' gutters. I've already harvested the daylights out of one of them several times, it's wonderful.
  • Marigolds (not an edible but sitting in my tomato beds to deter pests - hubs started these then I took over and care for them)
  • Onion - Storing variety, about 50 of them
  • Onions - 3 varieties to be harvested small and used as scallions
  • Peppermint - 2
  • Potatoes - 3 varieties in bags
  • Pumpkin - Small Sugar, 2 plants
  • Pumpkin – 4 Big Max plants
  • Radish - French Breakfast variety, planted 12 and drop a new seed in each time I harvest one
  • Raspberry - 1 unknown variety from a local gardener
  • Raspberry - Black Munger
  • Raspberry - Red Heritage
  • Raspberry - Willamette
  • Sunflowers
  • Snap Peas - around 80 plants I think, we love these things
  • Soybean - Midori Giant Bush Beans
  • Strawberries (80+ plants from last year) - have already harvested several pints which we eat just about as fast as we pick
  • Tomato - 12 Striped Roman Tomatoes which are doing wonderfully in the new greenhouse
  • Tomato - Indigo Apple, 5 plants
  • Tomato - Rainbow Cherry - have already started growing actual tomatoes although not ready to pick yet
  • Zucchini - Tri-color variety, 3 plants
Things I'd still like to plant somewhere:
  • Quinoa
  • Brussels Sprouts (a fall/winter crop)
And now for a tour of the joint but I'm going to break this down into two posts so as not to inundate you with photos because there are a lot of different garden areas throughout our property:

Here in the main garden which is to the right of our home, you'll see a large 10'4' bed containing two Big Max pumpkin vines which I am training out onto the wood chips. At the other end of that bed are three Asian Trio Eggplants and a whole bunch of onion starts that I plan to harvest as green onions for salads and recipes. In the middle of that bed you can often find two little boys playing with their toys. I'm growing little dudes in my garden.

Next to that, we have about 40 linear feet worth of strawberry plants and they're already producing lots of tasty fruit.

Next up are five 17-gallon tubs containing Rainbow Cherry and Indigo Apple Tomatoes. The Rainbow Cherry varieties are already growing tomatoes although none are ripe yet.

At the end of that row are three large pots, 3 old elementary school chairs and a bird bath turned fairy garden in the center. Only two of the pots are full right now and they contain more Rainbow Cherry and Indigo Apple Tomato plants.

Beyond that cluster is the onion bed where I'm growing large storing onions that won't be ready until the fall. On the edge of this bed I've just planted some black beans. I waited to get these in the ground as they need the soil to be quite warm in order to germinate. This picture barely shows it but I have a trellis where the black beans can climb. It creates a small tunnel over the path that is really lovely when the beans fill in the space. I have solar twinkly lights in there too.

Next up is the salad bed where I have snap peas climbing up over a trellis then kale, spinach, carrots, radishes, and butter crunch lettuce growing underneath. Only the radishes are ready to be harvested, all the other plants are still quite small.

The snap peas are starting to bloom and we have a few small pods. We're really excited as these are some of our favorite plants, so much so that I have more planted along the retaining wall.

Finally, for the main garden at this point, is the greenhouse where I have 12 Striped Roman (yes, Roman, not Roma) Tomatoes, a few marigolds in pots, garlic, several short gutters full of mesculun lettuce, and a hanging shelf to hold seedlings.



Behind the greenhouse is the pergola with bench that I created using reclaimed pieces from the crapport carport we removed a couple of years ago to put in this garden. There are planter boxes where I grew snap peas last year but this year I have started seeds for Mexican Sour Gherkin Cucumbers in a seed tray in the greenhouse. I'm so excited to grow those. The are really small cucumbers that look like watermelons. I've read they taste great and can be pickled.

(photo courtesy of

So that's it for the side yard/main garden. I'll leave you with one final picture, from next to the greenhouse looking back:

I love this space and am so excited about how much growth I've already seen this year. The next post will feature popping corn, zucchini, pickling cucumbers, more pumpkins, apple trees, the cherry tree, raspberries, blueberries and huckleberries. Yum!

Thank you for reading,


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