Lettuce now praise the raised bed garden

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

As I watched cold batter my landscape, the one part of the garden that seemed to thrive in January and February was the vegetable garden.

Beautiful broccoli.

One broccoli plant measures an astounding 44 inches tall. The large head of unopened flowers sits 32 inches above the soil in our raised bed garden. We’ve already harvested one large head, and use the subsequent small side shoots in salads.

Weird looking, this kohlrabi is a
cabbage relative.

A tiny cauliflower is forming on our single cauliflower plant. Kohlrabi is fat as a baseball. We will harvest it soon. This cabbage relative forms a bulbous area on its stem above ground, with leaves emerging from the bulb. We can eat it raw or cooked.

Our tomatoes have been small, but our cherry tomatoes have been prolific. Two sizeable bell peppers have formed on our single pepper plant, which hardly looks strong enough to support them.

Leaf lettuce continues to grow, and we harvest tender leaves daily for salads. We mix leaf lettuce and peppery arugula with broccoli florets, cherry tomatoes and occasionally parsley, which has outdone itself in one corner of the raised bed.

The pepper plant hardly
looks strong enough to
support these peppers.

 Mint, sage and oregano seem to love the cool weather. Our okra suffered from powdery mildew in the hot weather of December, as did our purple beans. But the beans have been replanted and are growing beautifully.

I bought the cedar-plank raised bed from Miami Victory Gardens. It came with a rich supply of compost and soil. We have not side-dressed or added any other fertilizer to the mix, and are amazed at the production that has come from an 8-ft. by 4-ft. by 12-inch-deep bed. 

This is one year when our home efforts at urban food gardening have been a boon and not a boondoggle.