April 21, 2016

Garden Update

The past several weekends have been rainy, cold, windy, or some combination of all three. Because of this, it took almost a month longer to build the last section of our garden beds and fill them than we would have liked. However, this past Saturday dawned sunny and warm, so we grabbed some breakfast, got dressed, and headed off to the local Lowe's to get the chicken wire, topsoil, and compost we needed.

Within an hour, we were back home and getting to work. We guesstimated we would need 20 cubic feet of soil to fill the bean bed, so that's what we got. You can see it there beside the bed materials in the heaps of bags.

Building the bed went pretty much the same as the other beds did. We laid out one plank to measure. Then we rolled out the landscaping fabric. We unrolled the chicken wire over that, and then we spread old cardboard boxes over that. A month after laying our other beds, and we can attest this method works really well as a weed barrier. Then we built the sides and drove two stakes to keep the bed in place.

Once that was done, Hubby and I began opening and dumping in the topsoil and compost. We alternated bags and spread the mixture out every two to four bags to keep things well mixed. We realized we had massively overestimated how much fill dirt we needed when we'd only opened five bags of each, and the bed for the beans was full.

We still needed to finish filling the other beds, so we just kind of shrugged and started filling the rest of the garden. As it turned out, we were only one bag of each short of finishing the beds. Not being ones to put off for tomorrow, we decided we might as well go ahead and go back to get those two bags. While we were there, we figured, "Why not get some nursery plants and plant the whole thing too?"

So that's how we found ourselves planting the entirety of our vegetable garden yesterday evening.

I suppose we'll have to hope and pray the weather stays relatively warm from now on.

Everything is planted. The beans are in the bed on the end where the stakes and a string support system is strung. The bed next to the beans has about 24 radish seeds planted there, and I'll be planting more every two weeks. The bed beside that has four cucumber vines and a bunch of lettuce seeds planted there. Then there's the bed with all of the seedlings on the far end from the beans. There are twelve tomato plants in six varieties planted in it as well as four bell pepper plants.

After a good watering, our work was done. Unfortunately, something must have happened to our hose    nozzle over the winter, because it sprayed more water from around the handle than from the nozzle. I tried to water as gently as possible, but almost all of our bean plants and one of the tomatoes looked rather beaten up between the huge droplets falling from around the nozzle and the wind that showed up later in the day.

We replaced the nozzle right away, and we've gotten more cages to support the tomatoes as they grow and start producing. Our beans aren't looking so good though. Maybe they spent too long indoors. I don't know. If they aren't looking better by the weekend, we may pull them up and replant directly into the beds.

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