Use the slider to see how the garden has grown between May and June
A few weeks brought some big changes to the raised bed
It’s been a little more than month since I last updated my efforts to keep the keyhole garden in continuous food production, so I thought I’d give a quick summary.
May 7, 2020
Hank the Dachshund sunning himself in front of the keyhole garden in early May, 2020
Back in early May we transplanted basil and cilantro (front left) into the garden to replace the lettuces grown there over the winter. The spinach (front right) was getting close to bolting and the cilantro behind it had already gone to flower. We decided to let the cilantro go to seed so we’d have coriander to harvest in a few weeks. The frying peppers (front left) had just flowered for the first time and the pickling cucumbers (back left) were climbing the trellis and showing their first few flowers. The tomatillos (back right) were also flowering and growing tall with the help of some stakes.
A volunteer tomato (front right, in the keyhole cutout) had sprouted outside the bed. I decided to let it grow a little before I transplanted it elsewhere.
May 24, 2020
Keyhole Garden on May 24, 2020
By late May the spinach was gone, the basil and cilantro were really taking off, and the tomatillos and cucumbers were fighting for supremacy at the back of the bed. The yellow pear tomatoes that had been hiding in the shade of the frying peppers were now looming over them instead.
And I forgot to transplant the rogue tomato, so now it was starting to take over the entrance to the keyhole cutout.
June 7, 2020
Keyhole Garden on June 7, 2020
A couple weeks of warm days and nights transformed most of the plants in the garden into giant monsters. Basil and cilantro look like they’re getting ready to flower, we harvested our first round of cucumbers, and the tomatillos are dang near out of control. The yellow pear tomatoes doubled in size so quickly I swear you could hear the plants growing.
The volunteer tomato, obviously sensing the other tomatoes’ land grab, took over what remained of the keyhole cutout.
June 11, 2020
Keyhole Garden on June 11, 2020
Today is the third day of really exceptional dry heat (like upper 90’s with humidity under 10%) which has caused some of the plants in the bed to get really stressed. The coriander went straight from green, to a dead dry brown, so that’s coming out. The cilantro and basil on the other side are both bolting. Not much I can do about the cilantro, but we’re pinching the basil regularly to keep it leafing out for a couple more weeks until the new seedlings in the greenhouse can replace them.
The tomatillos took the heat as a cue to start dropping its fruit, so we’re going to be making a lot of salsa verde and tomatillo-based foods in the coming days. The cucumbers and tomatoes are now engaged in an all out territorial war forcing me to spend a lot of time staking, tying and otherwise supporting the plants so they don’t escape the bounds of the garden.
There’s not much I can do with the rogue tomato except try to keep it within the bounds of the keyhole cutout and hope that it’s a tomato I like.
Here’s a few other photos of veggies in the keyhole garden.
Baby Pickling Cucumbers on the vine
Tomatillos still in their paper skins on the plant
I’m just a guy with nearly an acre of dirt, a nice little mid-century ranch house and a near-perfect climate. But in my mind I’m a landscaper survivalist craftsman chef naturalist with a barbeque the size of a VW and my own cable TV show. I like to write about the stuff I build, grow and see here at Sage's Acre.