My Spring Vegetable Garden – 2017

2017 Spring Vegetable Garden
2017 Spring Vegetable Garden

My spring vegetable garden for this year is well underway.  Actually, this past weekend end I have begun harvesting zucchini and bell peppers from the grade.   So, I thought it might be useful to have a list of what I planted this spring.

Vegetables which I grow every year

  • Malabar spinach; on trellises, of course
  • A variety of Chile plants
    • Poblano (Chile Ancho); our favorite eating Chile
    • Bell Peppers (red and yellows); for mixing with the poblanos, salad greens, and to add color
    • Mild jalapeno; for a bit of Chile bite in some dishes and for some garden as they ripen
  • Butternut Winter squash; my own medium variety this year.
  • Old Time Tennessee melon; a large cantaloupe style, which has become a favorite with us in recent years.
  • Tomatoes; only cherry and yellow pear tomatoes this year
  • Green Tomatillos
  • Herbs
    • Fennel; re-growing from last year’s root, which overwintered, and the bulbs are just about large enough to harvest
    • Garden sage
    • Bee Balm
    • Chives
    • Peppermint
  • Pole beans (Portuguese); my own collection, which is not commercially available any longer.
  • Tepary beans; my own variety, which I have been improving over the years. Needs minimal water and thrive in the San Antonio climate

Vegetables which I grow occasionally

  • Egg Plants
  • Zucchini Squash; green and yellow.
  • Runner beans (Ayocote Morado); good eating, but mostly growing for the hummingbirds and the bumblebees
  • Worchester Lima bean; seems to love and thrive in the San Antonio climate
  • Beets (Detroit Dark Red); grown specifically for salad green this year.
  • Armenian cucumber; grows well in Sana Antonio and is great eating when picked small
  • Purple potatoes; plant in a no-dig method using some old large flower pots

What Beans to Save as Seed?

When planning your garden, and planning to save your own seed, crossbreeding is always a concern.  All beans will cross, even between bush and pole varieties within their respective subgroups (e.g. common, Lima, Runner, Fava).  Planting more than one variety of the same subgroup is not recommended.  Beans do not generally cross the subgroup boundaries, so, planting a variety of beans from different subgroups in close proximity is not a problem.

Seed savers should plant an additional ten feet or more of dry bean row and then select the best non-hybrid dry bean as seeds for next years’ garden and a few extra as reserve seed in case of crop failure.  As a general rule bean seed, should be chosen for:

  • Seed quality: seed should be mature, air dried, and not be moldy or have started to sprout
  • Size: the larger seed is generally considered to have been an indication of healthy growth.
  • Shape: choose seed that has a shape consistent with the norm for the variety of bean.
  • Color and Pattern: seed that has the color and pattern consistent with the norm for the variety of bean.

How many beans to grow in the Garden?

With the gardening season nearing, it’s time to consider what to plant and how much to plant. When considering how many beans to plant, follow these general rules.

As a rule, when planning for how many beans to plant in a season, you will need:

  • fifty feet of row per person for bush beans, or
  • thirty-five feet of row per person of pole beans.

Many gardeners make a distinction for planting amounts between varieties (e.g. common Vs. lima) or usage (snap Vs. dry), but this is not necessary, the rules hold up.

If you plan to dual-purpose your beans, to use and consume them both as snap and dry beans, then double your row footage per a person.  Additionally, mark which rows will be used as snap or dry beans is recommended to ensure the best possible quality and sufficient quantity for each use.  Keep in mind that snap beans are harvested while young tender and dry beans need time to mature and dry on the vine.

Seed savers should plant an additional ten feet of dry bean row and then select the best dry bean as seeds for next year’s garden and a few extra as reserve seed in case of crop failure.

Related References