Raised Bed #4
This raised bed was primarily alliums for most of the year. It grew our Duganski and Inchelium Red varieties of garlic (as well as a Lautrec pink variety I brought back from France that never grew).
Next in line were the leeks, which I started from seed in January. They take forever to grow, but I think it’s worth it because you can pull them up in the middle of winter when almost everything else is gone. Plus leeks are excellent in warm winter dishes. They’ve been there all season, and they’ll continue to be there for a long time.
We also grew French and Dutch varieties of shallots for the first time, and brown and red varieties of onions. The shallots and onions were both negatively affected by the fingerling potatoes that I planted on the west side of the bed. I didn’t anticipate how tall the potatoes would grow, but they ended up shading out the shallots and onions as they grew, then finally just fell over on top of them. Needless to say, the shallots and onions didn’t appreciate it very much and showed their discontent by not bulking up their bulbs. The onions were almost a total loss. We did get quite a few shallots, but most of them were pretty small, making cleaning and peeling quite a chore. A lot of them were lost to mould during the drying phase, too. I think we’ll try growing shallots one more time, but if they turn out like this year again, I don’t think they’re worth it.
The potatoes did pretty well. We grew a French fingerling variety. I added another layer of blocks on the bed around them and added more soil to essentially hill them up as they grew. I ended up burying the soaker hose in the process, though, which meant that the upper layer of soil (and plant growth) didn’t get water. I think this was probably a poor choice on my part. I’d guess that we would have had a better harvest if I’d kept the hose on top. As it turned out, all the potatoes were in the lower layers of the blocks, and none in the upper layers where I’d added more soil. But the potatoes we got are nice quality, and delicious.
Interestingly, the mass of tangled potato vines became home to a bunny. And not just any bunny, but – Bunny. Bunny has grown up in our backyard since the spring, and appears almost every day. I started to get worried when I saw bunny hopping into the bed, but finally figured out that he (she?) wasn’t eating anything and was just using it as a comfy and cool place to take a nap. Fine by me.
After I pulled the garlic out I planted corn, yellow summer squash and zucchini. The yellow squash was the Zephyr variety, and the zucchini was Costata Romanesco. As predicted, the zucchini was not a strong producer, but the yellow squash was. We ate a good amount of squash, but we shredded and froze a TON. We’ll be eating a lot of squash this winter.