Monday, April 28, 2014

Major summer veggies planted this week end!

Monday, April 28, 2014

May Day or Mother’s Day is when the old timers recommend putting in your summer garden to be safe from frost.  Since we have the 10 day forecast now, there was no frost in sight between now and Mother’s Day so I got to planting!

This is what I planted this week end:
Tomatoes, America's favorite vegetable, several kinds: 
    5 dwarf varieties-Bush Early Girl (only 54 days ‘till ripe tomatoes), Patio, Husky Red, while trying heirloom Lizzano and Tumbling Tom
    4 chocolate/black tomatoes-Sun Chocolate, Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, Indigo Rose as well as Fantastico, Yellow Pear and Baby Boomer 
Peppers (Cayenne, Pimento, Ancho, Poblano, Baby Chocolate Bell, Cajun Bell, Jalapeño, Sweet Banana)
Cucumber (Slicing)
Lettuce (Buttercrunch, Simpson Elite, Red Sails, and a gourmet salad blend)
Spinach (Bloomsdale Long Standing, Teton Hybrid seeds)
Eggplant (Ivory and Black Beauty)
Rosemary (ARP and Barbeque, both hardy to Zone 6)
Basil (Italian Large Leaf)
Mustard (Giant Red and Ruby Streaks)
Potatoes (ECOS Purple and Ozette)
Chicago Hardy Fig tree (hardy to Zone 6)
Bay laurel tree
Cultivated Dandelions (Rugels, Italian, Nouvelle, Thick Leaved Improved, Volherizgen)
Chard (Celebration which has red, yellow, orange, fuchsia stems)
Marigolds (pollinator attractor and deer repellant)

I do a combination of beds and pots.  In the pots, I grow a variety of greens (lettuce, spinach, sorrels, chard, arugula, cultivated dandelions, mustard, tatsoi) and the hot peppers.   I could also grow the dwarf tomatoes, basil, rosemary, chives, bay, zucchini, cucumbers, and eggplant in pots.  They do well in both.

In the garden bed, I planted more greens (lettuce, chard, arugula and sorrels), tomatoes, sweet peppers, basil, chives, bay, rosemary, potatoes, zucchini, and cucumber (will train on a trellis).  The ECOS purple potato is new to my garden this year.  It is a perennial potato, hardy to -15F.

Leafy greens like nitrogen.  Root crops like potassium.  Fruiting plants like phosphorous.  You can get nitrogen from compost, alfalfa, soybean meal, coffee grinds or fish emulsion.  Potassium can be gotten from green sand via its potash content.  Bone meal and rock phosphate are good natural sources of phosphorous.  Fish emulsion actually gives not only nitrogen, but also potassium and phosphorous.

When we prepared the beds and pots, we used mushroom compost and a balanced fertilizer Re-Vita Pro, topped with mulch.  I also added coffee grinds to the greens.

A watch out for seed starting in mulched pots or beds: seedlings are not strong enough to push up through the hard crust of mulch.  You either need to plant the seeds and wait for them to germinate and then mulch around them or make a small trench in your mulch that you put seed starting mix and your seeds.  The seedlings will grow down into the mulch below.  I personally like to start my seeds in long planters and transplant them into the garden beds when they have at least their second set of leaves.  

I love using mulch for several reasons.  It adds organic matter, it helps the soil retain moisture, and it moderates the soil temperature.  I was comparing the soil color of some plants I brought from the house to the lake and the house soil was black as compared to the brown of the lake soil.  This is from adding mulch and compost each year.  Just be sure that the mulch you get is from trees that have not been treated with a systemic herbicide.  Systemic herbicides will kill veggies as well as they do weeds.

Now, all I need to do is watch it grow!

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