Thursday, June 11, 2009

Small Victories

My babies are napping.

The laundry is running, the dishes are washed, recycling put out and milk bottles put away.

Finally I have some time alone. I snapped some pictures, finally recording my raised beds (Hey! I planted 3 days earlier than last year! Woo!), before they get crazy and full like last year, when you couldn't even walk between the beds in late summer. This year, I toned my crazy down a little. This time, there are only 10 tomato plants in the bed. Plus one volunteer potato plant. This should make it a little easier to reach in and harvest mah 'maters.
Next year maybe I'll stagger the plants instead of pairing them up.

This year, I only planted 14 squash and melons in one bed. They are on the steep side, so I hope they all run over the edge and down the hill. I'll be sure to encourage them to do so. (Of course, this means I have to keep the weeds down on the downhill side this year.) I realized after planting them that I should have put all the viney plants on the downhill side, but I put them in pairs across the bed. Whoops! Something else I'll try differently next year.
The mound of plants in the front left corner are volunteer signet marigolds that I've been relocating around the other beds to attract beneficials. They actually managed to shade out the watermelon that was in the middle of them over the course of 3 days. Yowsa!

This year, I put all of the pepper plants in a bed by themselves, with only the company of other low growing plants. This way, I will be sure to get more succulent ripe bell peppers. Yum!
Next year, I'm going to plant them in a block, instead of in a long row. I just started planting and kept on going. The big empty space is where I've planted plenty of green bean seeds (24). On the end are 9 Genovese basil plants. Nine is a much more respectable number than the piles I had in there that I didn't thin last year.

This year, I put the 2 cukes and 2 pumpkin plants that didn't fit into the main squash bed into the recently cleared bed. Adding back in the 4th bed (after clearing out the "temporarily" heeled in plants that had lived there for 3 years) makes it seem like I've suddenly gained a huge amount of space. So, of course, I've immediately filled it. Looks like it needs some more planters mix added to it, to raise the level, doesn't it?
In the very front are volunteer tomatillos, because once you plant tomatillos, you will forever have tomatillos. I ripped out many and left 3. I may rip out two more of them. Just behind those are the 2 cukes and 2 pie pumpkins. There are a few lettuce plants tucked in there for grins. Behind all of that is the block of corn (a first for me this year) and yet more green bean (40) and basil seeds. Because just as you can never have too many tomatoes, you can never have enough basil or green beans.

Eric made me do it.

This year, I put some potatoes into half whiskey barrels instead of in my raised beds.

Well, not including the volunteer tomato that I've been hilling up in the middle of the tomato bed. I keep filling these with soil, but now I'm running out of barrel. Maybe next year I'll need a full sized whiskey barrel?

Over in Caitlin's garden, things are looking very nice.
Ignore the dandelion weeds pressed lovingly against the outside of the frame. There should be grass there, but I have weeds. Weeds and veggies. Who has time for a lawn when I have twins, veggies and flowering plants to care for?!

Caitlin's romaine lettuce is nearing harvesting size. She'd better get home soon.

I noticed that her corn seedlings are up, as mine are and that her transplanted pumpkin and watermelon plants are happy. Yay for transplanting direct sow plants!

Oh and did I mention that I have plants on the deck, too? Mostly they're ornamental, but today I noticed that I had one empty 24" pot and I had to fill it with...another tomato. I can't find my climbing pole bean seeds that I'd bought for just this very pot. So I guess I'll have to make do with a Cherokee Purple. Also, I want to see what it would be like in a pot. It's an indeterminate. Should be fun.

The spinach is looking over crowded and possibly in need of some fertilizer or just to be replaced. The lettuce needs thinning. The peas are finally setting flower. It's been an unusally cold spring for this area in CO, so while I was late putting stuff in the ground, it hasn't been too much of a problem. It's even been raining if you can believe it.

Ayup. Rain.

I had a crazy idea the other day, well several, actually.
  1. I have many tomato plants left over and no one to sell them to, so I'm thinking about planting some of them in the front yard, after I weed out the border by the sidewalk. I think I'll freak the neighbors out and that it'll be fun.*
  2. I think I have enough space for a long, thin (2' wide) raised bed at the bottom of my hill. I'm thinking that would be just the spot for raspberries and strawberries. I'm thinking...Eric has more work ahead of him. And that whoever buys this house after we leave it one day had better really like gardening.
  3. I think I'm going to rip out a bunch of my irises and put them in a box marked FREE! in the front yard. The irises are trying to take over the front yard and that cannot be!
  4. I think I have the world's happiest crab grass growing in my front border and that it's time I made it miserable with a pitchfork.
  5. I might need to have a tree company come in and trim my trees in the backyard. While they're here, I may hijack their load of mulch because I really need a lot of mulch. They'd give it to me for the cost of cutting my trees for me, so why not? Waste product for them, less plastic bags for me. However, someone will have to push a wheelbarrow around again. Someone...not me. Heh heh heh!
Ever wonder why all of my gardening plans lead to woodworking for Eric? I do!

What's up in your gardens right now? Any crazy projects planned?

* If you live nearby and want some of my plants, tell me and come and get them. I'd hate to have to put them on the compost pile.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

In the neighborhood I live in now (near Garfield and S.Boulder/Lake Park) a lot of people have converted their front yards and/or "hell strips" along their side fences to veggies. No freaked out neighbors here!

This year I'm trying a garden plot at the new community gardens. It's been mixed. Some crabby neighbors and the community garden seems to be the promised land for garden pests. And I planted my plants too close together, with huge holes in between because I just planted and didn't plan.

I did the plot because our house has been on the market, precluding serious gardening. Next year. Next year.

I have some holes in my garden plot would definitely love to take some plants off your hands! I'll email you!

I love this time of year. Getting the beds ready can be a lot of work (although fun!) and I'm always stressing out when the seeds are in but not up. Now everything is up and it's fun to watch it grow.

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