Planting Our Spring and Summer Garden
Our raised garden beds sure were the highlight of my summer last year, so you can imagine how excited and ready I was to plant our Spring and Summer garden this year. When we decided to do our DIY raised garden beds last year, I was a little nervous at first being a lady who could kill a succulent. Heck, there was an article on BH&G with 10 no-kill plants, and I think I killed them all. However, I’m so proud of the plant lady I’ve grown into during this season of my life. Meanwhile, it’s been so fun to have all my friends (that’s you!) as invested in the process as I am. Together, we’re winging this plant lady thing, and I hope you’re having as much fun as I am!
READ ALSO: DIY Raised Garden Beds
Our Spring and Summer Garden
We had so much fun with our garden last Summer. For our first garden, it was a huge success, and we got a ton of vegetables out of it (which made it that much more rewarding!) While we had some bumps along the way, we definitely learned a lot too. I am so excited to take what I learned last Summer and try to make our garden even better this year.
What We’re Planting
As far as what we are planting this Summer, it’s a lot of the same things that we planted last year. We expanded to 2 ‘salsa beds’ this year (in comparison to just one) so that we could have a wider variety of tomatoes and hot/sweet peppers. We made a ton of salsa last summer, and it was a huge hit. With more peppers to mix in, I can’t wait to see all that we can experiment with this year. In one bed, we’ll have tomatoes and tomatillos. In the next bed over, we’ll have Texas sweet onions and a wide variety of both hot and mild peppers.
Meanwhile, in the third raised bed, we’ll have yellow, squash, zucchini squash, and cucumbers. In the same bed, we decided to add some more late summer/fall based plants – like green beans, peas, and pumpkins. The weather got cold too fast here last Fall (faster than we expected), so our fall garden didn’t get to mature and produce enough till it got too cold. To be completely transparent, our Fall garden felt like a total fail. But that’s okay! It’s what happens when you’re trying something new sometimes. With that, I decided to experiment with planting these plants early this year to give them plenty of time to produce. I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to grow John’s first pumpkin! He’ll be here around mid-October, so it’ll be perfect timing I hope for lots of pumpkins.
Regarding timing, I referred to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to figure out what zone I am located in. From there, I was able to do some further research and find out when I should plant my garden. A good rule of thumb I’ve been hearing from people in my town is that you should wait to plant until after Easter. However, I will say that even though I followed the guidelines, we did have some unexpected cold weather that killed off a lot of the plants I originally planted. I ended up having to replant the entire third bed. We’re expecting some cold weather this weekend (isn’t it May?!), so I am hoping that they’ll survive this time.
Cold Weather Tip: If you run into some unexpected cold weather, you might be able to save your plants if you drape blankets / sheets over them. Draping blankets/sheets over them as the sun sets will help keep the heat in your raised beds and potentially save your plants from frost damage.
Grouping / Spacing
This year, I decided that I wanted to space and group some of the plants differently based on what we learned last year. For example, I decided to separate the tomatoes and the peppers this year because last summer the tomatoes would shade some of the pepper plants too much (and really hindered their growth.) Having the peppers in a completely separate bed will make sure that they get all the sun they need to grow and produce a lot.
Meanwhile, I also tried spacing the squash, cucumbers, and pumpkins strategically around the edges of the raised beds. This is so that the running vines could run outside of the garden beds. With the running vines running out of the beds, I’m hoping to avoid them crowding out the rest of the plants in the raised beds. I’ll have to report back via Instagram stories to let you know how it goes!
Well there you have it, friends! There’s the little inside scoop behind planning and planting our spring and summer garden this year. Everything this already sprouting and growing. I can’t wait to see what we’ll be able to grow this season. Are you planting a summer garden this year? What are you excited to grow? Tell us in a comment below!