"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress and keep it". Genesis 2:15

Monday, March 8, 2010

First Garden Plantings

I finally got to get out in the garden last Thursday and get some planting done. Anna and Claire helped me plant all the onion sets, three packs of yellow onions and one pack of red onions, in the bed I had prepared earlier.

I am changing the garden from long rows to 8' by 4' blocks with narrow rows in between, so it has been necessary to move some dirt around. Also I am switching over from soaker hoses to subterranean waters, so that necessitated burying a few more milk cartons down the centers of the 8 x 4 beds.  I had prepared two such beds for the onions, and one more bed was needed to plant all the transplants I had raised in the kitchen. In this third bed we planted green cabbage, Chinese cabbage, swiss chard, and some lettuce.

 Transplants in the forground before row cover was added. Onions in the back ground. Everything is so tiny you can hardly see it.

The transplants with stems (the cabbage and swiss chard) got a treatment to protect them from cut worms. Small half inch to an inch sections of drinking straws were slit lengthwise and placed over the stems to keep hungry gnawers (cut worms and pill bugs) from decimating my transplants.  Next we sprinkled composted cow manure over the onion's and transplant's beds. The tender transplants were then covered with a row cover to protect them as they transition to garden conditions and to keep other pests off. I planned this bed to have nonflowering plants in it, so the row cover can stay on all season. Things that flower and need to be pollenated have to be uncovered when they start flowering to let the pollenators have access to the flowers.

I still need to buy some broccoli transplants since my kitchen set up was not big enough to allow me to grow all the transplants I need. And there are planty of things which the rain has given me a late start on that I can still plant, such as carrots and spinach and other greens.

Just as a note on the leaf mulch we had applied in the fall. The mulch did a great job of supressing the rambuncious winter weeds we usually get. Usually I have to weed everthing before I can get to planting, but this time I just raked the leaves aside into my planned paths for use as mulch around my plantings as needed later. The ground underneath looked luscious.

I really was grateful to Anna and Claire for doing a lot of the hard work for me as my arthritus was acting up. Its great to have the help of strong young people.

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