Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Summer garden season

So spring in the south is in full swing.  It has been a really mild spring, lots of rain and lots of 70 degree days, which I am all about.  For a couple of summers now, my neighbor Bruce and I have threatened to start a garden in the front yard, but we never got around to it.  This year we fell on the same page and decided that we needed to actually get the garden set up.  Bruce was able to acquire some 2x6's (and one 2x8) from a friend and we cobbled together a raised bed for our garden.  We started by choosing the part of the lawn that gets the most sun throughout the summer, which also is probably the most out-of-the-way spot in the lawn, which is a nice coincidence.  We laid out a squarish section about 10'x12' and dug as far down as we could to clear the grass and get some topsoil turned up.  Unfortunately we are planting right near a maple tree, so roots were abundant and we weren't able to turn up a lot of previously existing topsoil.  We discarded the grass chunks and got a good gauge of how much we needed to fill.

From there, Bruce was able to borrow a friend's pickup truck to get the majority of our fill.  Our neighbor Mike made a great suggestion to check out the city yard waste department, where we got a full pickup truck worth of very fine mulch for only $15.  We complimented the mulch with about 150 lb of composted topsoil, some GardenTone fertilizer, and some lime (more suggestions from Mike).  We mixed everything in and watered it well and let it sit overnight.

Now it was time for planting!  Neighbor Mike was kind enough to give us 2 Mater tomato plants, and we picked up some cherry and Cherokee Purple plans as well.  In our small space, we managed to plant the following:

  • Black eyed peas
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Thai chile (1 plant probably)
  • Poblano chile (gotta have them chile rellenos)
  • Fennel
  • Kentucky Blue Pole Beans
  • Chiogga beets
  • Thai basil
No doubt it is a lot of stuff to grow in a small area but we are not totally convinced that we will succeed on all fronts.  Everything's seeded now, so we just wait to see what happens and hope for the best!

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