Peppers To The Front!

sun-starved peppersIn the “Hey, Self” department: peppers to the front! It’s been an educational month since the plants hit the beds. In just a month, the wee starts and teeny seeds have all but exploded.

The Kentucky Wonder pole beans exceeded their 5′ poles and are climbing amongst the Silver Queen corn, the so-called bush cucumbers (freebies from Gardens of Babylon) are anything but bushy (but they’re spreading like kudzu), Athena melons are creeping across the lawn (not sure how that corner’s getting mowed), a lush (but largely flowerless) Mr. Stripy gives me both hope and pause, and the bush beans are nearly toppling over their own weight.

Here’s the thing: as beans are generally anemic, stunted, doomed plants here at Plants On Deck, I planted the bush variety to the front of the bed, thinking the strong peppers, located just behind, would soar above them, taking the light they needed.

Evidently, these Kentucky Wonders and Purple Royals are a little better suited to Tennessee’s soil than to Philadelphia’s and to raised bed gardens than to gallon buckets. Their vigorous growth has far out-paced that of the peppers, leaving them entirely in the dark.

Move it or lose it, I figured, and just yesterday I yanked the peppers, redistributing them into the sunny herb garden. The three empty squares have already been seeded with spinach, because hey, why not?bell pepper plant

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Hey, Self

FullSizeRender (2)So here’s the thing: notes are great, but they inevitably find themselves lost, just when you need them most.

One of the last times POD attempted to grow beans, they wound up yellow, brown, and blighted. The yield: one measly handful, not even enough to anchor the amazing pesto/pasta/potato summer weeknight mainstay.

BEANS:
This year, hopes are high and POD’s going all-in on beans. The first batch of IMG_1325purple bush beans were planted on May 9 and have germinated and been thinned to six plants to the square foot. To ensure a staggered harvest, the next installment of seeds are scheduled to hit the dirt tomorrow and again on May 29. The Kentucky Wonder pole beans have been thinned to 9 per square foot and, come May 29, the remaining dedicated space will be home to 5 per square foot.

CORN:
There’s simply nothing as pleasurable as watching corn grow. Last year this desperate container gardener fell for the dwarf corn nonsense, which so didn’t FullSizeRender (1)work, but was enjoyable to watch, nonetheless. This year, we’re going for the real deal. After today’s slightly belated thinning (POD’s Silver Queen are already about a foot tall), 12 plants occupy four square feet. This year they’re all planted in a nice soldier row, but in the future, consider planting two rows of two or three to encourage pollination. Let the second-guessing begin.