Annual Veggie Gardening Whoops-AwardsAugust 05, 2008
A mistake many gardeners make is planting too close or putting tall plants in front of short plants. Its easy to get confused when you purchase plants that are all about the same size. If you don’t realize that plant A will eventually exceed plant B’s size, you might just put the big one in front of the small one. I see this happen quite often. Heck! I’ve even done it — this year by accident in my vegetable garden.
So, two mistakes I made this year:
Pineapple Sage Shadowing Tomatoes: In past years my Pineapple Sage hasn’t made it through the winter. I love it, so each year I put a new one in as an annual. It brings in the hummingbirds, and I adore the scent. This year it came up again, right in the middle of my tomato bed, blocking sun to a couple of tomato plants. Oops — wrong plant, wrong place. What to do? I’m going to thin the sage significantly for the growing season, and if I see it sprout up again next year, I’ll move it to a better garden location as my tomatoes tend to do their best in this bed.
Pole beans in the front of a bed: Usually I grow bush beans. I love pole beans and find their flavor usually exceeds the bush beans, but because of the shape of my beds, bush beans make a great small edging below lettuce/chard/beets that make a row just below tomatoes. Unfortunately some of the bush beans I put in this year decided that they’d like to climb. My dilemma is do I pull the beans or train them on poles? By training them up from their current location, they will likely shade my tomatoes from the western end-of-day sun, but so does the Acer triflorum on the other side of the patio, though its shading adds dappled light, not complete blockage. After consideirng the problem, I decided to train them and see what happens. Hopefully the tomatoes will get enough sun earlier in the day that this western blockage won’t cause them too much trouble! Plus, I have other tomatoes growing in the green house and on the East patio, so all will not be lost, regardless!