Come stroll through my early summer raised garden bed tour. My dream garden on a budget is in the early stages of being created. Simple raised garden beds, filled with vegetables, perennials, herbs and cut flowers, this is a look at what I am growing this year.
Early Summer Raised Garden Bed Tour – June
In 2018, I built my first cedar raised vegetable garden beds from fence panels. Ever since, I have loved using them. It keeps gardening more low-maintenance since I don’t have as many weeds to pull. This year we added more raised garden beds as well as moved the previous beds to a new location in our yard.
Raised Vegetable Garden Bed Tour
After moving our manufactured home to the farm, I decided to move the garden beds from the front part of the property to the back. I am so grateful that I made that choice.
After we added more windows in the kitchen, I now do dishes while overlooking the garden area. In the mornings, I watch the sun come up and in the evenings, I watch the sun go down. There is something quite magical about being able to see creation, the plants in the garden growing, our honey bees buzzing around and the cut flowers blooming.
Raised Garden Bed Layout
This year, I have 14 garden beds with plans to add two more this fall. In my previous raised garden area, I had the beds all spaced evenly apart. This year, when the beds were moved, I chose to place them end to end, creating long walkways between the beds. In the garden paths, I have put down mulch to keep the weeds out and create a beautiful space to walk.
Each year, I start several of my plants from seeds and other plants, like tomatoes, I purchase plants from a local greenhouse or farmers market stands. Almost everything we are growing this year started as seeds from Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds. Here is a look at what I am growing in the garden.
Raised Vegetable Garden Bed Tour
I grow a lot of tomatoes to eat fresh from the garden, share with friends and to can. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen during the summer canning our favorite salsa recipe and tomato sauce. A favorite in our home, I enjoy them fresh, served on a sandwich or smothered with cottage cheese and topped with salt and pepper. You can never go wrong with a garden fresh tomato.
Black Krim Tomatoes: Dark red-purple fruit, rich sweet flavor. One of the best. It always places high in tomato taste trials. It’s very juicy. An heirloom from Russia with very unique looking, large fruit. The wonderful flavor is popular at many markets on the West Coast; also a favorite of many fine chefs. (source: Bakers Creek)
Old German Tomatoes: A favorite old heirloom tomato variety that originated in a Mennonite community in Virginia. A great big slicing tomato, Old German has a wonderful flavor, beautiful variegated coloring, and weighs in at 24 Oz. (source: Everwilde Farm)
La Roma: Roma type tomatoes have delicious red flesh that is perfect for paste and canning. This year, I didn’t get the heirloom variety that I wanted so, I settled for using a non-heirloom variety that I have had great success with.
Cherry: This is called a “Mikes Variety” cherry tomato. I recently met a man that grew several varieties of heirloom cherry tomatoes. Over the years, he has created his own cherry tomato using several heirloom varieties. I am anxious to see how these taste and how well they grow in the garden.
Cantare Green Beans: Superior producer of nice straight dark-green pods for snaps. The slim 4-5-inch pods are stringless, and the flavor is every bit as outstanding as the yield! This French variety makes a fine crop home gardeners. Excellent tolerance to bean mosaic virus. (source: Bakers Creek)
I enjoy eating pepper straight from the garden but I also enjoying using them in recipes. Probably my favorite thing to do with peppers is to can them in salsa. This year, I am trying a few new varieties and looking forward to getting the first taste of the peppers.
Black Hungarian Pepper: Unique, black-colored fruit that is the shape of a jalapeño. It is mildly hot and has a delicious flavor. The tall plants have beautiful purple flowers that make this variety very ornamental. Rare and colorful! (source: Bakers Creek)
Anaheim Pepper: Legendary extra large and mild chili pepper, this mammoth roasting pepper originated from a line of chili peppers developed by Dr. Fabian Garcia in the 1910s in New Mexico. Those spicy chilis remained a staple of New Mexican cuisine, but when farmer Emilio Ortega introduced his variety to California in the 1990s, a more mild version was chosen to suit a more mild pepper palate in California. This offshoot, which has become a widely known mild chili ranges between 500-2,500 Scovilles units and is delectable for frying and roasting. Productive plants covered in large pods. (source: Bakers Creek)
Yellow and Red Peppers: While not an heirloom variety, growing in the garden is the traditional well know red and yellow peppers. These get large, are great for canning, eating fresh from the garden or stuffing for a meal.
Perennials in the Early Summer Raised Garden Bed Tour
I wish I knew the exact variety of my strawberries, but my sister-in-law, gave me starts from her plants in 2019. I know they are an heirloom variety as she purchased them from Bakers Creek during one of their annual festivals.
It is amazing at how quickly these strawberries send out runners producing more plants. I will be dividing strawberries from this bed later this fall. I will be giving away a few plants and moving some of the plants to the end bed when the tomatoes are finished for the year.
This was our first year to harvest a bounty of strawberries. Many of them never made it inside the home, as they were ate as fast at they were ripening in the garden. I was able to keep back just enough strawberries to make a delicious dessert, Strawberry Shortcake with Sourdough Biscuits.
Asparagus is a great perennial vegetable for the garden. It’s a bit wild looking once the season for harvesting is over but it is well worth planting and growing in the garden.
Asparagus takes 3 full years to fully harvest from. However, it continues to produce year after year for many years, making it a favorite for my garden. I currently have 8 asparagus plants, some are in their second year and others are in the third year.
Next year, I plan to add asparagus in the bed where the sunflowers are currently planted. Once I do this, plus divide the strawberries, the back row of the garden will be asparagus and strawberries. The two of those together make excellent companion plants.
Cut Flowers in the Early Summer Raised Garden Bed Tour
Is a garden even a garden without sunflowers? You won’t find my garden without the beauty of sunflowers. In order to have sunflowers blooming all throughout the summer and fall season, I plant seeds several weeks apart. Sunflowers are not only beautiful in the garden, but they are beneficial to our honeybees, make excellent cut flowers and the birds love the seeds.
Gold Ring Sunflowers: A darling mini sunflower with jovial little heads reaching just 2 to 4 inches across. Plants average just 20 inches tall; the inviting yellow petals and brown centers draw a profusion of pollinators to the garden. The short stature makes this a top choice for mass planting in beds and borders and perfect for floral design and arrangements. These will make a sweet potted plant as well. This tiny beauty produces multiple flowers per plant. (source: Bakers Creek)
Red Sun Sunflower: Stately branching plants reaching 5-6 feet tall are covered with dozens of ornamental blooms. Red to red-orange single flowers are highlighted with a hint of yellow around the centers. Blooms over a very long season, attracting bees and butterflies. Later, the tiny seeds attract birds.
I grow Calendula for a variety of reasons. One is because the flowers are beautiful in the garden. However, it is also a medicinal plant known to be anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiviral.
Calendula is most commonly used as a skin salve because it is very gentle on skin. It is used for minor cuts, scrapes, burns, rashes, and bug bites. It may also help with dry, cracked skin and itching. I use dried calendula to make a Healing Calendula Infused Oil.
Snow Princess Calendula: Behold an almost pure white calendula that will undergo a beautiful transformation right before your eyes! Unopened blooms are a lemon curd yellow as the petals unfurl; a brilliant almost pure white is revealed with a dark center–a stunning contrast! This fascinating flowering show will continue from late spring through the fall on tidy 2 foot plants. (source: Bakers Creek)
My dalhlia tubers got a late start this year, but they are another cut flower that always finds a way to be a part of the garden. I get my tubers from Twig and Vine, who I have now been a part of their Growing Kindness program for two years. If you would like to read more about growing dahlias and see last years harvest be sure to read, How to Grow and Care for Dahlias.
Perennial Flowers for Raised Garden Beds
Munstead Lavender: A rugged yet beautiful compact evergreen shrub with mounding, aromatic, gray foliage and an abundance of fragrant, rich lavender-colored flower spikes. Commonly used for perfumes, sachets, and oils. Dried sprigs will deter insects when placed in a closet or room. Gorgeous in perennial borders, herb gardens, rock gardens, and mass plantings. (source: Monrovia)
I hope that you have enjoyed this early summer raised garden bed tour. It is truly delightful to be out in the garden, planting and harvesting. If you love gardening posts, be sure to browse around by clicking the menu at the top called Homesteading. There you will find posts on creating a beautiful garden, how to build raised garden beds, and much more.