At the begninng of February with the new moon I replanted the garden for the summer season. With the soil for the garden in place through a mixture of store-bought compost (made in Hawaii), our own kitchen-waste compost, and a pale or two of horse manure (donated by our neighbors) I planted corn, fennel, 3 kinds of tomatos, carrots, celery, gourds (ipe), pole beans, lima beans, spinach, mesculn, peppers, and cilantro. Then on the full moon, I planted beets and radishes. Here's how things are shaping up:
The carrots are doing very well. I made sure the soil was nice and loose. And also to water it everyday. Even if we had rain the night before, I still have to water. The soil isn't very water-retentive and also, the wind here whisks away a lot of the moisture. Mulch is always a good thing but expensive/imported. This season, I found some straw in the gulch that was originally a big patch of molasses grass the I let grow and was pruning into a bush. I got over that tedious task soon enough and took the hedge shears to the roots. It sat in the gulch for about 6 months drying out like a big tumbleweed. I'd turn it over every so often so a). it wouldn't re-root. and b). so it wouldn't get mildewy. It never occurred to me to use it as mulch until just recently and it worked out perfectly. Heavy enough to withstand the wind but light enough to decompose in a reasonable amount of time. And it makes the garden look nicer. I never thought i'd get so excited over straw!
Here is a big batch of swiss chard that is left over from the summer and a renegade Beefsteak tomato plant. Both going strong! The green trellises are for the beans once they get going. I had a big problem with some pest that devoured the first batch of sprouts. So that green soda bottle is actually a cloche that I placed on every bean planted. So far, of the 12 I planted a week ago, 5 have sprouted. So far so good. In a related note, while investigating the stunted growth of the gourds, I discovered an enormous amount of cabbage loper caterpillers making there home in a nearby patches of parsley. I spent 2 hours one day just shaking the parsley and smashing catepillers. I took out about 2/3 of the whole parsley patch as extra precaution. Then squirted it with an organic pesticide.
Some corn and onions.
More corn that I recently had to stake because the wind was making them all lean and stressing the roots.
This is a surinam cherry that is growing on a tiny bush in the gulch. They aren't normally this big. It was gigantic and delicious!
I'll have more garden news, including a pic of the biggest pepper we've ever grown.
-Signed the garden geek.