Lots of Planting This Year
The weather was so rainy in March and early April that I didn’t think I would get my planting started by mid-April like I intended. But, all of a sudden, the sun came out – the birds were singing – the trees were filling with leaves – and I was hurriedly trying to get my germinated seedlings into the garden.
I was a bit worried that the young plants were not tough enough because I only had about 5 days to harden them off. However, most of them have survived quite well.
What I Planted
I started out putting my tomatoes and cukes on the two trellises I installed in Chapter 4, “Tilled, Lined, Trellised, and Ready To Go!”
The tomato seedlings are doing great!
But, the cucumbers are not fairing so well and I had to back them up by adding some extra seeds to the soil. Since it has warmed up a lot, the seeds should germinate quickly.
A number of flowers were strategically planted in various areas of the garden – sunflowers, marigolds, nasturtiums, and petunias. These special flowers will attract good bugs and repel bad bugs – helping to protect my veggies.
The corn, green beans, and squash are, of course, in my Three Sisters “island” configuration as shown in the picture below.
The green beans are planted in the same mounds as the corn – and, they will use the corn as their trellis – providing the corn stalks with a little stability. The weather forecast for the next couple of months is “windier than normal”, so, I’ve also used my fence post driver to hammer some wood stakes into the corn mounds for added strength.
The corn is growing so fast that it is already about time to thin them out and bank some extra soil up against them.
A New Batch of Wood Chips
As luck would have it – I was able to get another free truck load of wood chips this year. That put me into overdrive – trying to mulch the garden quickly because I didn’t want to leave such a large pile in my driveway for too long – out of respect for my neighbors.
But, with a little help from my friends, we used all the wood chips – mulching the garden, including the watermelon patch – in less than 2 weeks!
That will teach those weeds a lesson – we won’t give them a chance to take control and try to take food away from my veggies.
We’re On A Roll, Now – Soaker Hoses Are Next
It took me 2 full days to lay out my soaker hose network in three separate areas – my 2,500 square foot backyard garden – the watermelon patch – and a little herb garden containing basil, cilantro, oregano, and catnip.
I first checked each 50 foot section of soaker hose for leaks – made the necessary repairs using the techniques in “Fix That Shredded Soaker Hose” – and began by looping some soaker hose over the straw bales to provide extra water to the straw bale tomatoes, cukes, and eggplant. I also looped the hose around my mounds in both the Three Sisters and the watermelon patch.
This year, I used over 1,200 linear feet of soaker hose to cover everything. That’s more than two tenths of a mile – of soaker hoses! Can you believe that?
But, it was well worth the effort because the water will be fed directly to the base of the plants and their leaves won’t get wet – unless Mother Nature rains on them. This is important because it minimizes the chances of plant diseases caused by leaves that don’t dry out quick enough. Wet leaves are a haven for fungus diseases to propogate – harming the plants.
The main garden will get its water supply water through my Rain Bird Water Timer and my Camco Water Pressure Regulator, The plants will get a consistent watering that will provide them with their necessary inch of water per week. I also installed a y-splitter – an Orbit Zinc Faucet Adapter – to send water to both sides of my garden.
Here’s a pic of the complete hookup to the outside water faucet.
The watermelon patch and the herb garden will get their water from my rain barrels.
We’ve reached the end of Chapter 5 of Jim’s Garden Adventure 2018.
It’s time for a story that my neighbor, Jed, the retired farmer recently told me…
As Jed was looking over my planted, mulched, and soaker hosed garden, I asked him how long he was married to his dearly departed wife, Millie.
“Over half a century,” he said.
“I remember one time – just before our Golden Wedding Anniversary – that’s 50 years of marriage, mind you – Millie and I were feedin’ the pigs and she reminded me that we were about to have a very important wedding anniversary.
Millie said, ‘Jed, let’s have a big anniversary party. And, let’s kill a pig for it!’
Well, I did some thinkin’ on it – scratchin’ my head – and finally I said to her – Millie, I really don’t think the pig should be blamed for something that happened 50 years ago!”
What do you think of ole Jed! I just can’t get enough of Jed and his stories. Sometimes I don’t know if he’s serious or not!
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think of my garden progress so far – or, even an email would be pleasurable, email@example.com.