Making Space in the Garden

We intentionally planted the crops in our organic vegetable garden in close proximity, but some crops have started crowding others. 

Peeking in the Garden

The tri-color bush beans, which grow in a low bush along the soil, has encroached on the basil planted around it, causing one basil plant to become leggy in order to reach the sun from underneath the bush beans.

“This is the time of year when – especially if you planted a dense garden with lots of different vegetables – you have to direct the plants to grow where you want them so they’re not on top of each other,” The Organic Gardener Jeanne Nolan said. “So that’s one of the things we do as gardeners: manage how the plants interact with each other. The tri-color bush beans are trying to grow all over the basil and suffocate them.”

Overcrowding Solution

To prevent the beans from continuing to grow over the basil, bamboo was inserted between the beans and the basil, forming a barrier. Another bamboo barrier was also added between the lettuce and alyssum to prevent overcrowding.

Season Winds Down for Peas

At more than six feet tall, the sugar snap peas are the most prolific crop in our vegetable garden but their days may be numbered.

“Sugar snap peas are early season crops,” Nolan said. “They are planted as soon as you can start planting, and they usually peter out around midsummer. They will be finished soon. As long as they are making flowers, they will continue making fruit. Once they’ve stopped flowering, we will pull them out and plant something else in that spot.”

While the crop is still flowering, it is beginning to yellow at its base which, Nolan explains, is due to the hot weather and the plant directing its energy toward its fruit.

On Monday, The Organic Gardener returns to Chicago Tonight to show us how to harvest our garlic.