‘Painted Mountain’ sweetcorn being planted out. I popped a ‘Czar’ runner bean seed in the ground next to each one so that it can grow up the corn. I have also planted out a couple of winter squash to provide some ground cover and hopefully suppress the weeds.
@onlyyoudear asked: Hi! I was just hoping to get your
advice on some raised bed gardening. In the past I’ve done just traditional
gardens, but this year am building four 4'x8’ raised beds to hopefully have a
more plentiful harvest. I’ve seen everywhere that people say you can plant
things closer together in raised beds, but no one says HOW much closer together
you can plant things. Do you have any recommendations on this? For instance how
close do you think you could plant two indeterminate tomato plants? Thanks so
much! Hope your planting adventures get to begin soon!!
Okay, so this is probably going to wind
up being rather lengthy, and I apologize for that. But I have several different suggestions for
planting, and you’ll have to test them out to see what works best for you.
If you’re looking to follow “the rules”
of garden spacing, I highly recommend looking into square foot gardening. I’ve found that SF Gardeners follow the
playbook pretty closely and swear by it.
They have everything covered from plant spacing to soil mixes for the
ultimate growing experience. In other
words, someone did their homework. I’d
done some reading into it myself after several gardeners convinced me that it
was “The Way”. And in some aspects, it
was. If you’re working with smaller
spaces and want to really cram as much as you can in there, by all means, give
it a go. In my experience, SFG showed me
just how closely you can place certain plants (for example, I’d always given
peppers more room than they needed and wound up with a lot of wasted space),
but for others I felt like it was just too cramped. Also, if you like clean lines, neat rows, and
order in your garden, this might be the plan for you. I planted a garden two years ago that did not stray from the rules and didn’t care for it overall, so now I use the
spacing rules loosely, and focus more on crop rotation and companion planting
as my methods of choice.
You’d asked about indeterminate tomatoes. SFG will have you allow 2 square feet per
plant, which sounds completely asinine, and frankly, it is. Unless you’re going to prune your plants back
to force them to stay within this space, it’s just not enough room. I wound up with a huge mess, more fruit loss
than I care to admit, and so much unnecessary work when it came time to take
the garden down in the fall. That’s not
to say that SFG failed me, but rather, my pruning theories didn’t match what is
required for this type of gardening. With
tomatoes, I feel like you can never give them enough space, but I guess that
all depends on how you prune. Do you
remove suckers? Do you allow the plants
to just take over all willy nilly like?
I start off with good intentions and prune in the beginning, but once
those plants start taking off and producing fruit, I tend to leave them alone,
adding support as the plants get bigger.
I fertilize with egg shells, ground dried banana peel, Epsom salts, and
a large fish head in the planting hole.
This sends the plant into overdrive, making for massive, towering
monsters like I’d never seen before, and more fruit than I knew what to do with. Last year, I had two indeterminate plants in
a 4 x 8 bed (okay per SFG rules), and not only did they start growing into one
another, but they heaved soil out of the raised bed and began crawling across
my mulch path. This year I’ll plant one
tomato plant in that 4 x 8 bed, and maybe pop some basil in there, hoping for
So I guess what I’m getting at
is that you can follow the rules that someone else set up, but there are so
many variables in each gardener’s space and style that will determine the
success or failure of those methods. I’d mentioned companion planting
earlier on, and I really think this is more important than anything else. You’re looking to plant certain things
together, or keep certain plants apart based on their ability to attract or
repel insects, prevent disease, etc. I
find that I can ignore the SFG spacing rules on, say, basil planting, and kind
of cram them into a space that is shared with tomatoes. I’ve never had a problem with overcrowding,
and aside from the random hornworm invading the space, the basil keeps a lot of
other bugs and critters away. I am
guilty of breaking SFG rules and popping lots of flowers into the provided
growing space of my veggie garden in the hopes that they will attract
pollinators, and have never had a problem with that either. You could also take into consideration the
Native American “Three Sisters” method of pairing, say, beans, corn, and squash
planted closely together. The corn acts
as the trellis, allowing the beans to climb up its stalk, and the squash grows
beneath them, shading the ground and keeping weeds in check. This is a traditional method that is proven
to be effective. It’s all trial and error, and you have to
figure out what works best for you in your space.
So my short answer is this: give tomatoes and brassicas as much space as
you can afford (or be strict with pruning to keep their size in check), never crowd root veggies, but
allow yourself to take liberties with plants like peppers, herbs and climbers
(like cukes, beans, peas). I am guilty
of cramming a lot of these things into my growing space, and aside from the few
extra minutes I have to give up to ensure that everyone gets watered and weeded sufficiently, the only downside I’ve encountered is difficulty when harvesting. Densely planted plants hide fruit! Also remember that you can maximize spacing
by growing up via vertical trellising or plant in a triangular pattern instead
of squares, which allows you to put at least one more plant in any given space.I really hope this helps! If any other gardeners want to chime in, I’d
love to hear your input!
I HAVE NEVER CONNECTED WITH A CHARACTER MORE IN MY WHOLE LIFE. I LOVE GROWING SQUASH SO MUCH MY FRIENDS LITERALLY CALL ME SQUASHY BOI THIS IS A GREAT DAY SQUASH IS MY FAVORITE CHARACTER OF ALL TIME THANK YOU CREWNIVERSE BRB GOING TO BUY SOME OVERALLS
So aside from snoot kisses/boops and poke puffs and all that jazz, what does the snek do?
“I garden mostly. All the bushes, flowers, trees and such in my yard where my er… am I allowed to say ‘handy work’ when I mostly used my tail? Anyhow. I’m currently growing some squash and oran berries as well as strawberries. Vivi came over and requested I start growing oh what was it tamato berries? Apprently Miss Aello is doing a study on eevee’s, specifically umbreon and espeon and needs them, so I’ll be planting those when Cadmium gets me the started crops.”
-It is hunting season. There are skinned animals hanging from trees. Camo clad people wait in line a the supermarket. You are not afraid. This is just how it is.
-Summer has begun. You spy a squash growing in someones garden. By the next week, summer squash are everywhere. Everybody has them. There’s so many. What can you possibly do with three boxes of summer squash?
-This repeats near the end of summer with peppers.
-There is a disproportionate amount of churches. At least three for every square block.You see them in passing. Some are small, for a congregation of no more than thirty. Some seem built as compounds, sprawling over an entire city block. Behind them is one of the poorest parts of town.
-You go home. The dirt road leading to your house is washed out, even though this morning it was fine. You wonder if you will make it home if the bridge has flooded. This is a very real concern.
-You were driving. You are not now. There is a herd of cows on the highway. Some people do not realize that a cow is literally over a ton. It is half the size of your car. You stare ahead, and wonder which pasture they came from. One of them moos.
-It is late. In the distance, you hear barking; high pitched yelping. It echoes until you can no longer count individuals. You wonder if it is coyotes or wild dogs, or perhaps a hybrid group of both. The pack must be huge.
-There is a road not too far away. There is one in every town. During summer, if one walks along it, there are snakes. Many, many snakes. How can there possibly be this many of them?
-You are going down the river. You look down into the green water, and the silhouette of something giant swims beneath you. You watch it, knowing it has been around longer than your species can comprehend.
-You bring a woman a fruit. She opens it with wonder in her eyes. She is eighty years old, and has never seen a blood orange. The next week, you bring a mango. Ten years later, you still remember her face.
-There is a wrecked car in the middle of the woods, headlights cracked and half swallowed by the earth. There are no roads for miles around.
Mads Jensen: Hi. This is gonna be a round of bs questions because I am seventeen-year-old senior in high school and dont have much interview experience. Okay, so did you (Josh, Lilah, & Ezra) meet?
Ezra Miller: I met Lilah in middle school. Josh fell out of a wormhole & onto a train, which then brought him to us.
MJ: What’s some cool music?
E: We love the Band, notably the album called Music From Big Pink.
Josh Aubin: Speaking in Tongues by Talking Heads.
Lilah Larson: Dusty in Memphis by Dusty Springfield. & Crass’ The Feeding of the 5,000
MJ: Musical influences?
E: To me, inspiration is a Willy Wonka machine. A number of ingredients enter, their contacts & origins unknown, & art comes out. I can’t explain it.
J: I feel most inspired by the sound of light, particularly the scale of indigo.
L: I’m influenced by Josh.
MJ: Who writes most of your music, or is it a collective effort?
J: I do.
L: Christopher Marlowe.
E: What they mean is that we all write the songs that we sing.
J: No, I mean that I write all of it.
E: Josh that’s blatantly untrue.
L: We write the beginnings on our own & then flesh them out collaboratively.
MJ: Ezra- you act. How does that inform or affect your music?
L: Well, one thing is we get asked that question an awful lot.
E: Yeah, I’d say that’s the number one thing. I mean, we’re all deeply interested in film-
J: I hate film.
E: -& I think that informs us. Our love of film & Josh’s love/hate.
MJ: Where’s been your favorite place to do a show?
L: San Francisco, Albuquerque, Los Angelas, New Orleans…
J: My own hippocampus.
E: New York City- you guys are fucking traitors.
L: Yes, home is where the heart is I suppose.
J: I hate fucking New York. Just kidding- I hate New York.
MJ: Most challenging aspect of traveling around together?
L: Like any relationship, communication.
J: Communal chafing. Purple monkey dishwater.
MJ: The best part?
L: Being in a band.
E. (sings) La muuuusicaaa. That’s from Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights- write that down!
J: The best thing about being in a band? Lilah & Ezra.
MJ: Plans for the future?
E: I’m looking forward to jetpacks & entire meals in pill form.
J: I hope to reinvent the straw. With the profit I will secure the land for a small farm, on which I will grow squash, pepper, artichoke, & salmon. Afterwards, I shall begin to build a spaceship & a time ship & I will travel the cosmos searching for meaning, prosperity, hope, & humility. Afterwards, I will die.
I love visiting my parents in harvest time. This is just the early start, but, let me tell you, Royal Burgundy french beans are addictive. I mean, french beans in themselves are heavenly, but those are still better.
And that giant marrow was used to make three dishes for three people each. Expect marrow recipes soon.
Today’s goodies, the worlds biggest round courgette!! Wonder what it will be like in the middle? Our first yellow courgette, not a bad size, feel a ratatouille coming on! We also got our first few, just a handful of blueberries, oh they tasted good.
Yuri Plisetsky is so beautiful it’s painful. Quite literally painful for Otabek because the first time he told him as much he got a palm to the face as Yuri shoved him away and growled something about Otabek being “a blind shit who needed some fucking glasses”.
The second time he says it, they’re pressed together on public transportation after they dove into an underground train station to avoid Yuri’s overzealous fan base. Otabek had a firm hold on the pole while Yuri, reluctantly, held on to him. He remembers the way Yuri chewed his bottom lip, in thought, in frustration. Otabek was sure it was a little bit of both. There was something so appealing about that open expression that Otabek told him again. He received a swift punch to the side and some incoherent grumbling in response.
He still takes pride in the way Yuri’s cheeks colored though.
He doesn’t say it a third time. At least, he doesn’t say it out loud. After the second time, Otabek starts to understand that what he feels when he looks at Yuri is painful for more than one reason. His side aches when he remembers the punch, but his heart aches too. His heart aches whenever he watches Yuri on the ice, whenever Yuri spends the night at his place, sprawled out carelessly on the couch. His ever growing hair gets everywhere, but Otabek isn’t annoyed when he finds the blond strands anymore. In fact, they make him smile.
That’s just as painful.
He knows that Yuri isn’t the type to allow his attention to stray from his figure skating and why should he? He’s the most impressive young skater since Viktor Nikiforov himself. Even more impressive, if anyone were to ask Otabek. And Yuri would say Otabek is biased, so his opinion doesn’t count. Biased or not, Otabek has always admired and will always admire Yuri as a figure skater.
But he knows that’s as far as he can allow his admiration to go.
As they sit in Yuri’s hotel room, barely a day away from their next competition, Otabek tries to squash his growing feelings. Yuri’s legs are slung over his lap and his hand rests just above one of Yuri’s knees. He knows he should pull back, knows that maybe the gesture is more intimate than it should be, all things considered. But Yuri doesn’t seem phased by it. HIs attention remains on the screen of his phone while Otabek’s heart pounds louder and louder every second. He’s sure Yuri will hear it.
He doesn’t know when he it started, but he thinks that maybe he’s always had these feelings for Yuri. He’s certainly always thought Yuri was beautiful. Blunt, rash, rude at times, stubborn, strong willed and powerful, and even with all the things that should push him away, Otabek is drawn in. He’s staring before he can stop himself, meeting Yuri’s eyes as he finally looks up from his phone. And he wants to say it again. Knows he shouldn’t, but wants to anyway.
Yuri speaks first. “So it’s been a long ass time…” He lowers the phone into his lap. “Are you finally gonna kiss me, or what?”
Otabek blinks away the shock. Yuri stares back, his jaw set in the same defiant way it does when he tells Yakov what he wants for his routine, and makes it known that he won’t take no for an answer. Blunt, Otabek thinks as his lips twitch into a smile.
He pushes himself toward Yuri, feeling Yuri’s legs shift in his lap. “If that’s what you want…”
“I wouldn’t fucking say it if I didn’t.”
Beautiful, Otabek thinks as he chuckles and fulfills both of their wants with that kiss.
Pro-tip: cooked, pureed Delicata squash is quite tasty in smoothies, and adds a nice, creamy texture. Pumpkin and other squashes work well for this, also (probably not spaghetti squash, though?) I know this because my mom always grows an abundance of squash and I get sick of eating it on a plate. Throw it in with a banana, some liquid, some other fruit or greens, etc… delicious and nutritious!
It has been two different stories when it comes to the seed growing, the cucumbers and squash (which we saved from our own squash from last year) are doing brilliantly, but the tomatoes and peppers nada! So have planted more tomatoes and peppers (not sure what type , ones we saved ourselves but that is part of the fun) in bigger pots. Hopefully they will work this time. We are also going to try basil for the forth time, if it doesn’t work this time we are giving up on it! The allotment is still producing which is great, spinach, kale and romaine lettuce today. Yum!
P.s just to confirm we only saved the butternut squash seeds and the peppers ourselves.