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17 May 2010

Garden Update 1: The Beginning

In mid-March, I bought a burpee garden seed kit at Home Depot.  It came with seeds, soil pellets, a container for the soil, and a little plastic container that would act as a greenhouse.  I thought it would be fun for emily to grow some things from seed.  The kit came with roma tomatoes, oregano, basil, cilantro, squash, beans, carrots, cucumbers, and canteloupe.  We seeded on March 21st, the first day of spring.  Amazingly, I only had to bring the garden inside once or twice due to frost.  I also put some bean seeds in a planter on the patio. 

While Emily found it to be marginally interesting, it actually gave me the garden bug.  So now, I have FOUR raised bed gardens, three in the wild area out front, and one in the back near the fence.

The first two are each 3 feet by 6 feet and made of 2x6 lumber.  I didn't really do any prep of the ground below, just filled them up with about 5" of miracle grow garden soil.  In garden #1, I tranplanted 4 bean plants and 2 squash that I'd planted from the seed kit, and also four eggplant and 2 "rainbow mix" bell peppers.  I'll probably end up removing 2 of the eggplants.  Garden #2 currently has 5 cucumbers and a nice trellis ready for them to climb, though they're still quite small since I grew them from seed.  I also planted some mesclun lettuce (which we've already eaten some of!), 2 muskmelons, a zucchini, 2 roma tomatoes, and some green and white onions (same thing really, the "green" onions are planted about 3" deep, while the "white" onions are planted at the surface).  Garden #1 only gets about 6-7 hours of sunlight, and garden #2 really gets only 5-6 hours of sunlight.  The zucchini, onions, and mesclun all seem to be thriving here, we'll see how the romas, cucumbers, and muskmelon do.

Garden #3 is one that I added just this weekend, it's 8 feet long and 2 feet wide, and made with 2x8 lumber so it's a little deeper than the other two.  I needed a place to put my canteloupe that I'd grown from seed and needed a sunny location.  I have a lot of trees around my hard to sunny locations are hard to come by.  I put in a couple of 6' steel posts and threw some heavy guage "Mason Ladder" wire between them to make a nice trellis for the vines.  I'll probably train two of them up the trellis and let the other trail out into the mulch.  The other resident of this garden is a Big Boy tomato, which was transplanted from a planter that Adrienne had originally planted from seed.  The canteloupe were also transplanted from a planter, but they'd been seeded in the burpee seed kit, so this was their second move.  They're doing pretty awesome.

Garden #4 is a 4 foot diameter raised bed garden made from a kit I bought at Walmart.  Essentially it's just about 10" of edging.  Also filled with miracle grow garden soil, I have a cayenne pepper and a jalapeno pepper plant here, both purchased at the farmers market and at a fairly good size (each about 15" tall when purchased).  In fact, the cayenne pepper already has 2 peppers on it, and both are covered with flowers.  I also have about 7 sweet corn plants growing in the other half of this garden (there wre more but I thinned them out a bit, and may have to thin a little more).  Behind this garden, in the ground by the fence, I also sowed another row of sweet corn, which I'll probably thin to 4 or 5 plants in a week or so.  I built another trellis here as well using steel T posts and heavy gauge mason ladder wire.  On the trellis, I planted a Himrod grape vine (a variety of white seedless grape).  We'll see how well that works.

We have some container gardening going on - we have several Topsy Turvy planters, one for strawberries (it has 15 strawberry plants in it!) and 2 for roma tomatoes.  We also have 2 roma tomatoes in a large pot, and 2 big boy tomatoes in pots as well.    And finally, we have 5 basil plants (planted from seed) that are in a planter on the porch and doing awesomely.

Oh, and we've got a blueberry bush on the porch, still in the pot we bought it in because it had flowers all over and and we figured as long as we keep it watered it'll produce better than if shocked it by transplanting it.  We'll put it in the ground in the fall.


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