Sunday, May 5, 2013

Garden Update - May 5, 2013

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It's May 5th and this is my first garden update for the whole year.  This year is going to be a rebuilding year and my garden will be smaller than previous years.  Moving to a new house and having to get a garden going on top of all my other projects has been a bit overwhelming.

I will try and give the reader's digest version on what I have been doing since January.  I said I wasn't going to start plants from seeds this year because of time.  Well, that went out the window and I started tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants from seed.  I decided to set my beds up in "L" configurations to conserve space.  I filled the six beds with a garden soil mix from a sand and gravel yard.  I didn't take time to amend the soil, I just went with their mix so I hope it works.  After filling the beds, I have been planting for the past three weeks.  I hope to post regular garden updates now that I am off and running.

Here is an overall picture of the new garden, you can see the three "L" shapes I created.  You can the layout of these same beds at my old house here.  I kind of like this new configuration, it saves space and I still have plenty of room to reach into beds.

Bed Number 1 - Nothing but tomatoes here.  I have a total of 12 tomatoes this year which is double the amount I planted last year.  I have the same combination of Better Boys, Best Boys, and Roma tomatoes. I have the bed all covered in plastic and caged up.  This should be a tomato forest in a few month months.

Bed Number 2 - Eight yellow squash plants in the background, and four zucchini in the foreground.  I plan to harvest these hard until the borers get them in a few months and then plant something else in July, corn maybe.

Bed Number 3 - This bed contains peppers, eggplants, and lettuce.  I have planted 4 jalapenos, 3 Hungarian wax peppers, 2 habanero peppers, 2 yellow bell peppers.  They haven't sprouted yet, but I have planted lettuce and romaine as well.  I still have two slots in the top right corner that need to be planted with something.  Ideas anyone?

Close up of tomato plant.  They have started to take off and the stems are getting thick.

Close up of squash plant, something eating the leaves.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Coca Cola Cooler Potato Planter

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I am excited this year about growing potatoes.  I have never grown them before and after seeing fellow bloggers harvests, I have made it a priority to try them this year.  I am running out of garden space in my raised beds so I decided to plant my potatoes in my Coca Cola cooler planter box.  Last year I planted peppers in this box, and here is that post.

I wanted to plant red potatoes, but the local nursery only had Kennebec seed potatoes so I had to work with what they had.  I really hope I get some good potatoes.

Here is the cooler box positioned in front of my little storage shed.

I started by cutting the potatoes into chunks with several sprouts per piece.  I waited two days for them to brown over before planting at the advice of the nursery owner.

The cooler had decent soil, and it was filled to the top.  I shoveled out all the dirt except for 5 to 6 inches of soil. I spread out the pieces in the cooler, they are spaced 8 to 10 inches apart.  I know that is a little too close, but I wanted to use as many pieces as possible.

I added an additional layer of soil covering the potatoes.  I have read that as the sprouts grow up, you add additional soil around them until your planter is filled to the top with soil.  We will see what happens.