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Personal blatherings, living simply, gardening, cooking, canning, dehydrating, knitting, spinning and more.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Progression (Black Thumb of Death Gardening)

Edit: I have imported this from my The Black Thumb of Death Gardening Blog to my regular blog...  

The constant rains left and spring finally set in a few weeks ago. We even hit 80°F for a few days. (I have the Farmer Jane tan and pink skin to prove it!) Some of the seedlings were hardened off during this period. All but the tomatoes and peppers will be planted tomorrow from the current batch of seedlings we started inside. After a couple of years, we think we have the 4 different micro-climates in each area we have garden beds figured out. Or not. We will find out this year if we planned a more optimal placement of various vegetables. I did make the area to the far back totally into a herb garden. It will have kitchen and medicinal herbs.

Himself rented a rototiller for an hour, going around the inside perimeter of the outer garden area and along one side. I found a bush at the nursery as a start to put along the western side as a wind-break. Eventually. The photo of that area are before I made the edge-berms and filled with amended soils. The boxes down the middle has potatoes planted. I found blue potatoes this year. These three 6' x 1-1/2' boxes have red and blue potatoes.

I got the potatoes in today. Yea! You cannot see the divots where the potatoes went in this bed. This bed will have Yukon potatoes, along with cabbages, spinach, onions and garlic. Maybe... spinach. I do not have my plans handy. Yes, every area is mapped out and planted for optimal yields. I share my yields with my daughter and her little family. All together, 7 people benefit from my efforts. We save money, eat better food, I am healthier getting outside daily, and... you get the drift.

I filled some beer cups (drainage holes drilled into the bottoms) with the dirt from where the tomatoes and peppers will be going to move the seedling into tomorrow. Those will stay under the lights in the evening, getting fresh air and sunshine during the day. It is awkward bringing them out every morning, the plants seem to like it. that is what matters. One way or another, I am getting tomatoes this year. I was going to use potting soil. I realized using a plug from exactly where they will be going to "live" is more practical.

The second view is from the drive. You cannot really see all of the front garden. It was such a nice day, I kept snapping photos. The strawberries and josta berry bush are all blooming. I am pulling most of the spinach that came up this spring for dinner for the next few days- lightly sauteed in butter, onions and garlic- is the plan. yum...

The herb area has teeny-weeny sprouts you cannot see. I put the herbs that handy shade and partial shade to the east and back, with the sun-loving plants in front of them. It should work. Best-laid plans and all that, yes? I never assume, yet I keep trying.

It was late in the afternoon when I got around to the photos. Don't all the beds looks sad? No plants yet. Waiting for their plants and seeds, though, not in vain. We had what the weather people are saying is the last frost date a while back. Normally, mid-June is the safe time. I am not putting out the tomatoes, peppers, or squashes until that time. Nature has a darker sense of humor than I do!

The flats are to the right. I have one of nothing but various onions, second from the right. The one to the far right is cabbages, kale, mustard and a couple of artichokes. They are over-due to be planted. the peppers and tomatoes are second from the left, tobaccos on the far left. The photo is a bit dark. Sorry.

So... the first year's strawberries were in a bit pot last year, ended up going next to the newer strawberry beds last fall. I left them there and they seem to be happy. I will add a watermelon next to it. I keep trying. In my area, an exercise in futility, I am sure.

The hummingbirds love the strawberry and josta berry plants. We have a zillion dandelions, tons of wild flowers and two hummingbird feeders. I figure we will not have one mosquito this summer. Keeping hummingbirds happy is a major payoff, has lots of entertainment value, and there is noting cuter than a baby hummingbird. They are smaller than the fake flower shapes that the sugar water comes out of in the feeders. That is it for now. More photos as the vegetables progress.

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