The Joy of Landscaping

A Gardening Blog

Putting the Vegetable Garden to Bed

Part 10: A Beginner's First Year of Vegetable Gardening

We had the first snowfall of the year last week, a sure sign that my vegetable gardening for 2018 is coming to an end. I wanted to see if the remaining plants survived the snow. Yes, the arugula, cilantro and some spinach still looks OK, but the lettuces - not so much.

As the plants have died, I also noticed how much the soil level in the beds dropped from their original fill last Fall. So, I've been filling up the beds with soil as veggies get pulled out, and topping with hay mulch. Early next spring I will put down a layer of compost on all the beds prior to planting. Some beds do have a cover crop of oats and austrian peas because I was able to plant them early enough to germinate.

Overall, I'm very happy with the results from my first year of vegetable gardening. Sure, some things didn't work, but most did. Next year will be more "firsts", including spring planting and getting the asparagus bed going. More exciting adventures lie ahead!

Planting Fall Vegetables

Part 9: A Beginner's First Year of Vegetable Gardening

Cool season crops are the stars now, with summer vegetables winding down. Here's what I'm hoping to harvest this fall.

Read more . . .

A Mid-Season Status Report

Part 8: A Beginner's First Year of Vegetable Gardening

How have the warm season veggies turned out so far? Here's a recap.

Read more . . .

Growing Onions

Part 7: A Beginner's First Year of Vegetable Gardening

To keep things simple, I had originally decided not to start seeds indoors to create transplants. But this idea for onions, available on the Savvy Gardening blog - - caught my eye. The blog post describes a method to start onion seeds in plastic containers outdoors in winter, and the transplants can be placed in the garden in spring.


Following the instructions, I created the seed container in January. Unfortunately in late March, it tipped over in a bad storm so I had to reconstruct it. Add that to the fact that I couldn't plant anything in the raised beds until early June (my cover crop mishap), and I was doubtful of a successful outcome since I was supposed to plant the onion transplants into the beds in early spring. But in early June, I went ahead and planted the small shoots from the container. As of today, it seems to be working!

The tops have grown substantially, and last week I noticed the bulbs starting to protrude at ground level. Was this normal or did I not plant them deep enough? It seems that this is normal. It's time to harvest - then cure - when more than half of the tops have fallen over and turned yellow. Not there yet, but I'm optimistic.

What's That Foamy Mass on the Mulch?

About 6 weeks ago, I saw something I'd never seen before: a foamy, tan colored blob about 5" long on the hardwood mulch in one of the garden beds. Since then, there's been more instances, some more yellow, some whiter, some browner.

Slime mold on mulch

Apparently, this is slime mold, sometimes referred to as "dog vomit" fungus. It feeds on bacteria in the mulch, and typically first occurs in very rainy weather or if an area is heavily irrigated. The foamy mass eventually goes away, especially if the weather turns hot and dry, and doesn't hurt anything. But if it is too unsightly for you, just scoop up the mulch with the mold on top, and discard in the trash.

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