So, Sunday was a productive day in the garden. I got up early to dig the sod under the broccoli bed and then filled it with grower’s mix, to which I added fresh compost and composted manure. Then I installed the wire grid over the top to keep the plants separate. I have ten broccoli plants started and some are near two inches tall now, but I’m going to wait a couple more weeks before transplanting them into their permanent bed.
The sun was blazing all day and the veggies were loving it – except for a couple green bean plants that burned up pretty good on Saturday. To help fix this, I pounded in some stakes on the corners of the bean bed, and clipped a section of burlap onto the stakes to help diffuse the late afternoon sun. We’ll see if this helps. I had burlap over the peppers for the majority of the summer, which seemed to work for them…
I also sowed the carrot seed. I chose two varieties: the Danver’s Half-Long and Big Top. I gave myself a space a foot and a half wide by 3 feet long to plant. I dug six drills lengthwise about 3/4 inch deep, watered the soil briefly, and scattered the seeds in a line down each drill. I then covered them with a thin layer of soil and a thin layer of fresh compost then watered them. I planted three rows of each variety. When they come up and get a couple inches tall, I’ll thin to about 2 inches apart in all directions. I figure I’ll be able to get 50-60 carrots that way.
I’ll be transplanting the lettuce to the section just to the left of the carrots. I have Red Sail, Buttercrunch and Cosmo Savoy sprouts already coming up, so I’ll be able to move them in just a few weeks. The area to the right of the carrots is reserved for the Bloomsdale spinach. The spinach seeds (currently enough for ten plants) are sown in toilet paper rolls and are sitting in the coolest room in the house. This should keep them about 70-72 degrees or so, which is fine for germination. Hopefully the lighting is okay in that room – the seeds are sitting on the windowsill, but the sun never directly hits that window. If the weather would cool down just a bit more, then I’d put them outside. We’re still forecast for mid-eighties for the majority of the next ten days …
Michelle made the comment that the yard is being overtaken by vegetable beds and that the backyard feels crowded as a result. After thinking this over, I decided I’d move the woodpile and the smoker from the backyard to the side yard – they were, after all, an eyesore. Having moved these, the backyard opened up quite a bit and removed the visual obstacles to the corner of the yard where I planted the mint. Using some unused stones, I stacked up a short rock border around the mints, then moved the kalanchoes, lantana, cuphea, lavender and potted mint plants beside the rock border. The area looked a little empty still, so I built a small wooden planter to put marigolds in and also built a small one-seat bench to sit on and enjoy the morning shade under the Texas Lilac tree (growing in the neighbor’s yard – incidentally, we took a seed from that tree and currently have a seedling growing that is now about 9 inches tall!). Actually, the entire area is shaded until about noon, which is nice. The idea is to plant more flowers and provide a meditative area to relax. We could all use more of that, eh?
I also picked up a couple of jalapeno transplants at the grocery store – at Michelle’s urging. They were only $1.68 each, so I figured it can’t hurt. I managed not to kill the bell pepper plant yet, so I think these should do okay. I planted them both in a pot about 11″ in diameter. I’m about the only one in the family who likes loves jalapenos, but I can eat them on just about anything!