vegetable garden
It’s hard to get your garden planted when you’re off driving around the West, but the garden is finally planted!

When I’m on a trip, I work hard before I leave so that recipes can still appear on the blog, so readers might not realize that I’ve been off on a long road trip to visit my brother, visit a nephew and his family, see my friend Cheryl, and most of all to speak at Camp Blogaway (which I highly recommend, especially for relatively new bloggers.)  The weather in Utah got warm very early this year, so I did plant most of my garden before I left.  Since I’ve been back I managed to finish the planting and had good intentions of getting the garden nicely weeded before I took photos for the blog, but the rain gods made short work of that plan.  The garden loved the rain though, so here’s what I’m growing in my garden this year, weeds and all!  Above is an early morning shot of the garden space just as the sun is peeking over the trees that are on the east side in my neighbor’s yard.

For the last two years I battled tomato blight in the two tomato beds next to my deck, and after discussing options several times with the experts at Western Gardens (who have no idea I’m giving them a little shout-out here), I decided my best option was to grow tomatoes somewhere else for a year.  So this year I have three clumps of Sweet Slice cucumbers growing on the east side of my deck steps. 
The longer bed on the other side of the steps has two zucchini, two eight ball zucchini, one straightneck yellow squash,  and one scallop squash.   I know this will be a mass of green when all this squash gets producing, and I’ll probably need to trim the dead leaves more often with them growing here, but I think the squash will love this sunny location.

So what happened to the tomatoes?  It was starting to get too sunny to get a good shot of this, but  I planted two tomatoes at the end of my four 10 foot wide beds, with an extra tomato in front of that in a couple of them.

When it comes to gardens, I’m a little bit traditional and a little bit adventurous.  One tomato I plant every year is Celebrity, which does well in Utah.  This is a medium sized red tomato, good for salads and very disease-resistant.

And of course I have to have my Green Zebras!   These two are from the garden center, but I also have a smaller one in another bed grown from seed by my brother-in-law Clayton, who’s a great gardener.

For the first time ever I found San Marzano tomatoes at the garden center this year!  This is a type of tomato that’s used for making sauce and I’m excited to use them to make Slow Roasted Tomatoes!

In the final bed the sun was really getting in my way, so ignore the blown-out photo on the left.  This bed has a Lemon Boy (my favorite yellow tomato), a Big Boy Tomato (from Clayton, started from seed), and my favorite tomato for sandwiches, a Brandywine tomato (also from Clayton.)

This year I decided to plant my seeds going along the watering pipes, even though there are only holes in the pipe at certain spots.  The French Green Beans didn’t seem to mind.

However, the  Green Kale was a bit pickier about coming up only where there was water!  I’m waiting a few more days, but I may have to try planting more seeds in a few spots.  (Some of those plants are weeds, but the clump on the left is kale.)

I had the same problem with the seeds for the Red Russian Kale, and also the Swiss Chard, which I forgot to take a photo of!  (Follow that link to see my friend Susan’s gorgeous Swiss Chard.)  Luckily these plants do need some space between them.  (In the fall I’m going to plant some Lacinato Kale seeds that my brother gave me, but I decided it’s too hot to start them now.)

This year I’m experimenting with this Bush Delicata Squash, a winter squash type I haven’t grown before.  Even though it’s a bush type, I’ll probably have to work to keep it contained to this long narrow space.

I’ve experimented with different types of eggplant, but I’ve settled on Ichiban Eggplant as my favorite (no peeling or salting!) and I have four of them.

Every year I struggle with bell peppers, but I keep trying and this year I bought Sweet Horizon Bell Peppers, which are promising “thick-walled peppers that ripen to orange.”  Fingers crossed, I have three of these plants!

I’m also excited about growing these Poblano Peppers, and if all three plants do well I’ll have a lot of salsa and maybe some Chile Rellenos in my future.  (This is the pepper that’s called Ancho when it ripens and is roasted.)

I also have Watermelon Radishes and Sparkler Radishes that I planted when I got home, but they haven’t come up yet.  I’ll talk about those another time, along with the herbs, which are growing like mad. 

All links to commercial seed sites or gardening sites are merely to illustrate that type of plant and are not an endorsement of that business or website.  I would never accept paid links, so none of these companies have any idea I am linking to them.

Who Else Has Garden News?
If you’re also growing a garden, let us know in the comments about what’s been planted at your house.  (You can see all my Garden Updates since 2006 or the 2012 Garden Updates if you’d like to find out more about my garden.)

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