June 12, 2009

A Real Garden?

I want a real garden.

Since moving here in March, things have been a bit nuts with no sign of it leveling off any time soon, so I didn't think I'd get a garden in this year. As time went on, I got the bug and couldn't stand that I have almost an acre of land and didn't have a single vegetable started.

I knew I'd have to rectify that so planted two indeterminate tomato seeds from last year in egg cups (you can see how I do it here), two roma tomatoes, and a couple of cucumbers. I also had bell and banana pepper seeds left from last year so tossed in a few of those. For some reason none of the peppers ever germinated, but the tomatoes and cukes did just fine. A woman in my area posted on freecycle that she had started too many tomatoes and was giving some away, so I got two from her as well.

It's not going to be much this year as I got a late start and didn't get the soil worked and amended like I should have, but I was determined to get something into the ground.

Here's Tom tilling the area for me. I think it ended up being about 13 x 23'.


I figured this would be plenty of room for me to play this year.

I wanted to try corn, so planted 6 rows of 5 since they need the wind to carry from one row to the next for pollination. I was out there at first light every day looking for sprouts, and was excited to see the corn starting to come up. Unfortunately, only 14 of the 30 did come up, but those that did are doing well.

Here's one of the little guys when first popping up.



Since there are such large gaps between some of them, I thought about planting more in between. Because the stalks need neighboring stalks in order to pollinate and bear fruit, I wasn't sure it would work if some were a couple of weeks ahead of the rest. I thought I had a chance since this particular variety matures at different rates so that you have ears coming in for a longer period; maybe the second batch of the first would pollinate the first batch of the second (did you catch all that?). I had nothing to lose at this point so I gave it a try, planting them closer together than I did the first batch in case I had a poor germination rate again.

Here's a shot of the tomatoes and corn from the other day.


I stuck a few watermelon seeds in the ground too, but they didn't germinate either. I still think it's because the soil wasn't tended properly first, but next year I'll be ready.

Right now I've got the corn, 6 tomatoes and I think 5 cucumber that are doing well and I've got plenty of room left that I need to fill up. I will probably try peppers again from a new pack of seeds, and maybe some sugar snap peas and/or green beans after the worst heat of summer is behind me.

That's it for now. Not much of a garden, but it will help me be more prepared for next year.

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