New Gardener: Finally planting some vegetables in the garden!

Posted on: May 23, 2018 | Written By: Mike Palm | Comments

Note: With the guidance of editor Doug Oster, new gardener Mike Palm will be chronicling his adventures (or perhaps misadventures) in starting a garden this year.

With the garden fully fenced in, I may have been overly excited and bought some plants to put in right away. I got two tomato plants (Red Beefsteak and Husky Cherry Red), two pepper plants (yellow bell and sweet banana) and a Black Beauty zucchini squash.

I had some help from the boys with the watering.

Watering the plants

Getting some help in the garden with a job they seemed to enjoy.

The early May planting of those vegetables didn’t go over well with Doug when I told him about it at our biweekly meeting.

Doug says: You should have seen the look on my face when I asked Mike, “What’s planted in that bed?” When he told me tomatoes, I flipped out explaining it was too early, that frost could kill them and that he should be prepared to protect them. When I calmed down, we both laughed about the exchange. Ended up he didn’t have to worry about frost and the plants were fine. It was a good lesson for both of us. He learned when tender crops are supposed to go in, and I was reminded to be better at communicating the basic information I take for granted. It’s great to see how well the garden is progressing, and especially wonderful to see the kids hanging around those beds.

I also learned that I shouldn’t have planted the vegetables at night because a fall in temperature and wet soil would not be a good combination. Luckily, we haven’t had a dramatic temperature drop since they went into the garden … so far, so good.

The weather didn’t cooperate for a few days after that, so I wasn’t able to get much more planted.

When it did clear, I hit up Best Feeds in the North Hills looking for some more vegetables to get in the ground rather than just relying on seeds. Some (slightly less slow) immediate gratification isn’t a bad thing, right? I was only going to get one or two containers but wound up with a flat.


A flat of veggies from Best Feeds.

Here’s what I got:

• Cucumbers (This is what my wife most wanted, besides beans and the nixed corn.)

• Brussels sprouts (A favorite in this household except by me and our youngest. Yuck.)

• Radicchio

• Fresh Start beets (I’m not sure how they’re going to go over with everybody but me.)

• I also got what I thought was cauliflower, but I’m not sure because I found two different tags in the container. So we’ll have to wait and see on that one!

On these, I learned my lesson from Doug and waited until the next morning to plant them!

Garden trellis

A trellis for the cucumbers to climb.

I planted the cucumbers with a folding trellis in the middle so they could climb up and over. We’ll see how that goes. I also left some space to plant beans and lettuce by seeds. (You’ll have to wait for next time to see how that went.)

Doug says: This is very exciting, love the trellis. You’ll be surprised how fast those plants will cover both sides. I”m looking forward to hearing about the first harvest, continued planting and how the family relates to the space. Great job Mike!

Earlier New Gardener stories

Part 1: Picking A Garden Location

Part 2: Choosing A Size And Type Of Garden

Part 3: Completing The Setup Of The Raised Bed Gardens

More from Everybody Gardens

See also, Raised Bed Gardening Secrets Revealed By CobraHead Inventor.

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