Monday, April 30, 2012

And The Garden Is IN!

We planted all our trees: 3 pear, 3 cherry, 2 apple, and a fig. Fig? Fig.

We have yet to stake them, but they're all more or less upright, and we have the stakes.

We put up a fence around the garden plot: 150' of green plastic mesh on 3 sides, and the existing boundary fence on the 4th. The mesh is stapled to 5' oak stakes.

Lesson #1: Don't skimp on the staples.

Lesson #2: Put the fence on the UPWIND side of the stakes.

Lesson #3: Wrap the fencing AROUND the end stakes.

Lesson #4: Don't put up the ends first, then the middle. The fence WILL sag. Put up one end, and work toward the other, pulling the fencing taut as you go.

Lesson #5: It won't stop the deer. It might discourage them a bit, but they'll walk right through. That's why I'm using more staples. I hope they learn to walk around.

On Sunday, we opened furrows and dropped in seeds. I did the first 5 by hand, then gave up and Debbie's son, David, brought down the rototiller and re-tilled the rows before I opened the furrow. MUCH easier.

Most of the last 2 of 12 rows is our leftover seeds from years past. We put them in THICK, and we don't really expect much to grow. Some of the seeds are 2009! I figure that 1 in 10 might germinate. If anything grows, it's a plus.

We are growing lettuce, okra, beans, peas, turnips, parsnips, carrots, salsify, cornsalad, arugula, parsley, tomatoes in beefsteak, roma, and cherry varieties, some peppers, collards, kale, winter squash, butternut squash, buttercup squash, spaghetti squash, pumpkin, and who knows what else. We tried for heirloom varieties this year, but some of the older seeds may have been hybrids. I think we planted the squashes too close together, so if we save seeds and replant, we're going to get some interesting hybrids ourselves. Of course, in a 50'x50' plot, we weren't going to get them far enough apart, no matter what we did.

Then we pulled the hoses down from the house, about 300 feet, and put out a sprinkler. It's not much, but it will help. Now I need more hoses to replace them on other parts of the property.

This is my third garden. It's about 100x bigger than the first. My success rate has been--disappointing--so far. It's a learning process.

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