Rol’s Vegetable Garden – Productive and Beautiful

  • Post published:07/23/2012
  • Post comments:9 Comments
Eggplant, onion, aparagus

Rol’s vegetable garden is one of the wonders of Heath. His is one of two very different gardens that I visited last week. My neighbor Rol is the garlic and onion king. This spring he coordinated a group order of onions from Dixondale Farm. I  bought 60, and though we planted at the same time I can tell you that my onions look nothing like his. Weeding and watering seem to be  key elements to success.

Raised onion bed

Many of Rol’s vegetables are grown in slightly raised beds. Here is his tip. Use 2×4 pieces of wood (or slightly smaller) held in place by wooden stakes about 18 inches apart and pile up the soil inside. This is just enough to help drainage. At the end of the season pull up the wood and you’ll have no trouble tilling the soil. Rol is a gardener who believes in tilling and weeding and he has beautiful rich organic soil. At the end of the season he tills in all his mulch. You can see  that his onions have reached a splendid size.

Garlic - ready to harvest

Rol has been starting to harvest his prize winning garlic. The last of the harvest will be coming out soon.

Drying Garlic

As I looked at the garlic crop drying I realize there is no chance my garlic will give him much competition at the Heath Fair, even though he did start me off with good seed garlic.

Potatoes in hay bales

He thought he’d try an experiment and planted potatoes in hay bales. Very important to keep these watered.


His first attempt at tomatillos is a great success. So beautiful. Just like little lanterns.

Tomato plants

Rol’s tomato plants are at least as tall as I am.

Acorn squash - not ripe yet

The acorn squash, like the baled potatoes, grows outside the vegetable garden fence. I wonder what will grow outside the fence next year. Or will the fence have to move?

Rol is a passionate and skilled gardener. And an inspiration!  I wish I liked to weed as much as he does. In 2010 I wrote about Rol and his garlic here.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Lisa at Greenbow

    If I had a Rol I would have a veggie garden just like this. What inspiration to get out and weed. 🙂

  2. Pat

    Lisa – Rol is out at 5 am and needs to be called in for supper. He and his wife are a great couple and they do traipse about together occasionally.

  3. Flaneur

    I think Lisa at Greenbow hit the nail on its proverbial head. I know you’ve posted any number of vegetable gardens over the years, but this one moved me to think, “I should do this!” I have a similar field that gets great sun, and your photographs certainly made Rol’s produce look all the more appealing. Your Commonweeder posts do much for many, but inspiring a sedentary reader to pick up a shovel is among its greatest virtues. I look forward to adding one more garden to the (I hope) growing list. Many thanks, Pat.

  4. Jason

    An onion and garlic king? Sounds like a good man to know.

  5. Judith Harper

    Beautiful garden with full sun that I wish I had. Isn’t it Lyn’s garden too?

  6. Pat

    Flaneur – Don’t forget the weeding at dawn part of Rol’s garden!
    Jason – He is a very good man to know – sharing his knowledge and resources.
    Judith – I think Lynn is in the kitchen busy making dilly beans and such.

  7. Flaneur

    Weeding? At dawn? I’m sure you wrote a post on self-weeding vegetables, no?

  8. Rol "the king"

    Actually, I have not tilled in years, but everything does get turned under every fall and again in the spring. It is GREAT having a Pat to admire and share our garden

  9. Rol "the king"

    Also, pat did not notice that the acorn squash were planted IN the garden but as usual, thought the grass was greener on the other side of the fence

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