High Summer in the Vegetable Garden

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Our Burlington, VT, display gardens get lots of visitors during the summer months, and the vegetable garden is always the most popular destination. The flower gardens may be more colorful, the habitat garden more peaceful, but food is irresistible.

We try to grow a little bit of everything in our vegetable garden, from tomatoes and sweet corn, to kohlrabi, husk cherries and celeriac. This gives us an opportunity to put a wide range of our products to work. It also lets visitors see what some of the less commonly grown vegetables look like in the garden — garlic for instance — and our hope is that once they see it growing, they might go home and give it a try.

This year, we made some changes in the garden to make room for eight new, 3 x 6 cedar raised beds. We wanted to grow each of the six pre-planned gardens in our Kitchen Garden Planner, and also plant two new beds that we’ll be adding to the Planner for 2010. Located right in the middle of the much larger vegetable garden, those eight beds started out looking pretty small. But as we began planting them, it really was amazing how many plants could be squeezed into each bed.

As Thomas Jefferson said to his friend Charles Willson Peale, “…but tho' an old man, I am but a young gardener." We certainly feel like young vegetable gardeners again this year, as we learn how best to tend these new, more intensely planted beds. Before the 2010 growing season, we’ll be making a few tweaks to our Kitchen Garden Planner; adding photos and some journal entries with suggestions for plant varieties, succession planting, supports, etc. If you are growing one or more of these pre-planned gardens, we’d love to get your feedback. There’s now a comment section at the bottom of each page in the Planner, and it takes just a minute to leave a note (you can also check out some of the good suggestions that are already there).

This summer we’re also testing a number of new vegetable gardening products, which will be available next season. If you can’t visit us in person, check out the slide show to get a look at the garden and what’s happening.

We hope that wherever you’re gardening, you are getting just the right amount of rain, lots of sunny days, not too much heat, and that the bugs and other garden pests are leaving your plants alone. That’s not what’s happening in our garden, but we’re sending you those good wishes!

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