Finally, the day has arrived! My Garden is ready for planting!
My very handy husband completed my new garden. In compliance with the sage advice from The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, we went with raised beds. My hubby built three long raised beds the two on the outside are 2′ x 22′ each and the center bed is 4′ x 18′ to leave room for a walkway and gates at either end. Additionally, each bed is separated by an 18″ walkway. It is perfect. I am so excited.
Luckily, my hubs was able to make most of it from salvaged wood, thus bringing down the cost substantially. We did invest in some nice black coated rabbit wire to keep out the bunnies and some cute hardware for the gates. Furthermore, we purchased some inexpensive compost from the landfill and mixed it in with our existing dirt. Side note: our landfill gets their compost tested and certified chemical free–that is important! We mixed it about 50/50 because we live in a dry, windy, high-elevation.
Now that it is built, I can start transplanting and planting! There are several vegetables that I must wait to plant until after Memorial Day—thank you, Zone 4—but I can now plant peas, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, turnips, radishes, onions, lettuce, spinach, garlic, brussels sprouts, and asparagus.
The first of my long-suffering, grow-light weary seedlings that I transplanted were my asparagus. I had started my three asparagus crowns (well 4 actually, but one never came up) in my size five jiffy pots. They are now about two to three feet long and trailing all over my laundry room. They are the epitome of a “leggy” seedling. I don’t know if they will make it, but I am going to stick them in the garden ASAP.
Unfortunately, of my original seedlings only a few cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts survived the slow starvation death by grow light (see Day 6). Notwithstanding, I will dutifully transplant the survivors and cross my fingers for my new “replacement” batch. My mother-in-law, who is a prolific gardener, told me that you never start peas inside—so, we’ll see how they do. I am disappointed by that revelation because my peas were doing really well, climbing all over the ramshackle wire trellis I rigged for them.
The Fantastic Ph/ Moisture Doohickey!
I am excited to direct sow my turnips, radishes, carrots, potatoes, and onions. I made some additional soil amendments potatoes, carrots, and turnips. Apparently, they like a more acidic soil and I know mine is very alkali thanks to the cool little doohickey I bought (I got mine at my local ACE Hardware, but you can also find it on Amazon)! It’s called Hydrofarm Two-Way Ph and Moisture Meter, and its Ah-Mazing! It tells me the Ph and whether or not my soil is wet, moist or dry. I added sulfur to the soil to increase the acidity; you just shake a little on (following the directions of course) and water it.
Of Onions, Garlic and Potatoes
I planted seed onions, but I got cheap and decided I didn’t want to buy seed potatoes. I bought some gourmet looking fingerling potatoes at the grocery store and sprouted them in my cupboard. The reviews on this topic are mixed. Many gardeners swear by this method, other caution that it can introduce disease into your garden. We shall see.
Unfortunately, I did mess up my garlic. I bought seed garlic bulbs and planted it (I thought) according to the directions. I stuck the whole bulb in my jiffy pot and covered it up. Nope. Apparently, you are supposed to separate the cloves and plant each individually. Good to know. Unfortunately, only one actually sprouted, but it looks pretty good. I am going to attempt to separate the cloves when I plant them. If it doesn’t work out, I do have some garlic from the grocery store that actually sprouted in my crisper. Got my Plan B.
Here we go . . .