Saturday, May 9, 2009

Garden's in

I spent some time cleaning up my small garden beds yesterday- weeding, hoeing, adding some organic fertilizer. Today came the fun part- planting things.
This is my tomato patch, which is hmmm... maybe 5 feet wide by 25 feet long maybe? I had to fence it last year due to marauding deer and woodchucks and rabbits. It's a very small garden, but I can get a surprising amount of tomatoes and greens from it in years that it likes the conditions and the weather.

I used to only plant tomatoes, but have been adding a few other vegetables the past couple of years. On the left side are fourteen various tomato plants, my favorite being Prudens Purple heirloom. There are some golden tomatoes, plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and good old Early Girl and Better Boy too. I stuck a couple of leaf lettuces in between them to take advantage of the available spaces while the tomatoes were still small. A sage plant is there too on the far end.On the right side, starting from furthest away is a rosemary plant and then a little cilantro patch, further along is some red leaf lettuce, then bright green leaf lettuce, and five Blue Lake bush stringbean plants. Then starts some vari-colored Swiss chard (tiny right now but will get very robust) which continue on to the right in back of the camera, and lastly behind me is a small strip with new leaf lettuce seeds planted.
I planted several more string bean bush plants and some yellow summer squash in amongst the flower beds as well. Last year, the Blue Lake stringbeans just LOVED it in the crummy sun baked spots on either side of the garage door, so I planted them there again after adding some organic fertilizer to the soil there. I got big bowls full of stringbeans last year from just 6 measley little bean plants.

I found quite a few earthworms while working the ground...a good sign, as I hadn't seen many for the past couple of years. This is my first year in a long time using only organic fertilizer, so I am anxious to see how the plants do on it. It's made mostly from ground up chicken feathers and chicken poop. You can bet that the native earthworms in the ground are going to prefer it to 'Miracle Grow'. That would be good, because then the earthworms will work the soil and contribute their castings- and earthworm castings are a wonderfully rich bonus fertilizer!

If my little tomato garden produces a lot this year on the organic fertilizer, then I think we will likely add a large raised bed in the Fall to grow a larger amount of vegetables next year.

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