2011 Garden: June & July
The install: Later than planned. We knew this would be a learning experience all around from start to finish something would be learned in every step. Here we learned to take advantage of cooler spring weather, do ground prep in the fall or early spring when things are cool. We did not do this. Starting late close to June 1st we broke ground, literally. A patch of grass and creeping charlie 50ftx30ft to the south of the barn became the site of our garden. This plot gets sun continually from ~5:30am til dark during the peak summer hours. I spent many hours removing sod with a sharpened shovel, loading the wheelbarrow up and toting away the top layer. Post holes were dug and a fence erected as deer are an issue out here. For the initial prep of the dirt I used a motorized tiller to work the soil 10inches down then had 3 cubic yards of pulverized black dirt delivered and added to the existing soil. Four raised beds were shaped and the center paths dug out and lined with newspaper and old straw from the loft of the barn.
Planting came later, close to June 15th and consisted of ~30 tomato plants, corn, peas, beans, onion, carrots, hot peppers, green peppers, zucchini and summer squash were all seated in loose soil. Care was taken but the first round of seeds did not germinate, we waited and waited. Finally close to the end of June we re-planted everything that was not coming up in decent numbers. The second round took well and now we have everything in the above mentioned list growing at an almost exponential rate. We built a trellis for the peas and cucumbers to climb and began weeding and mulching on an almost daily basis. The first couple weeks were slow, some plants were sun damaged due to initial over exposure but as July progressed the garden blew up. We are getting the first hand experience now to make next years garden much more productive than the current. With that said things are coming along, soon we will have more tomatoes than we can handle and will be giving them away to our friends and co-workers. Lettuce has been flying out of the garden by the bagful for close to three weeks now. Keeping up on the lettuce harvest has kept the bugs to a minimum due to the lack of rotting leaves tucked under the plants and the more leaf lettuce picked, the more produced. Most everything is now bearing fruit from the corn to the squash, daily harvesting will commence soon with canning to follow. Canning will be another learning experience…