I can now proclaim that - finally! - the 2017 garden is planted!

Today saw the placement of the last two tomatoes on my grow list for the year. The first plants went in on May 1. So the span of planting was 24 days....now that's what I call gradual! It is also atypical for me, but a testament to a pretty busy, complicated spring - the intersection of travel associated with speaking engagements, the annual seedling sales, and planting of the garden. 

 Garden - view from the street side

Garden - view from the street side

This year's garden is a departure from recent gardens in two significant parameters - less plants, and more spacing. It is also loaded with mini-projects and mysteries. Upcoming blogs will discuss each of the projects and all of the progress, delights, and frustrations along the way (all inevitable). 

To keep this particular blog short, let's cut to the chase....the statistics.

I am growing a total of 131 plants in containers of various sizes, with a few straw bales thrown in. Of that total, 91 are tomato plants, 32 are peppers, and 8 are eggplant.

The garden is in my driveway (of course!), and contains 6 straw bales and 3 special self watering planters sent to me for trial by Gardener Supply Company. Along with the plants along the driveway edge, the layout consists of 9 rows of plants with adequate space for easy observing and watering, and sun and air exposure.

Most of the plants are in 5 gallon plastic grow bags; a few are in one gallon plastic pots, and some special tomatoes being grown for maximum yield are in 10 gallon plastic pots.

Among the mini projects are:  Eggplant - further work on the dehybridization of Orient Express (testing the three main named varieties), and further work on the variety I named Mardi Gras.  Peppers - further work on the dehybridization of Islander (testing the four named varieties), as well as my named ornamental hot peppers Gemstone and Bouquet, and some super hot peppers from saved seed.

The tomato mini-projects are: a small number of newly obtained family heirlooms, a selection of our favorite eating varieties, a grow out of the most recently released dwarf varieties from our project, and lots of early generation work on dwarf offspring of my newer, wilder crosses, including chartreuse, yellow, carrot like and variegated foliage - as well as paste and cherry sized offspring.

There will be so much to show and discuss - I can't wait!

 Garden from behind

Garden from behind