Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday Update

The garden survived the storm for the most part... our sunflowers are now leaning a bit to one side, but hopefully they'll straighten up here pretty soon. With warm weather this last week, the soil's dried out and we've been able to get out there and weed. I saw a tiny little tomato on one of our tomato plants. I hope it's the first of many.

Last year our garden really only produced green beans and cucumbers. Squash bugs got our zucchini plants and the lettuces and spinach never sprouted at all. We're not sure if it was an overabundance of water (last spring was extremely rainy) or if an animal scratched up the seeds. We tried to plant a little earlier this year, but since we were expanding the beds things went in the ground about the same time.

We're calling it the year of experimental gardening. Planting things we haven't planted before, filling in with more and different seeds if certain plants don't sprout. So far it's looking really promising.

The only problem we've really had so far this year has been with dirt. Last year we had a very small box garden which we filled with dirt from the home center. Since we're in the suburbs, our dirt is mainly fill, which has plenty of fun stuff like nails, broken glass, and rocks in it. So we tilled it up a little, put a raised box on top, and filled it with the good dirt.

This year, since we've added a bigger box, we decided to get a load of dirt from the dirt/gravel place down the road. We specifically said we were gardening in raised beds, and the foreman pointed us towards a mix of soil he called 'pro mix'. Said it was really good stuff. It looked good as we were loading it into the box, but it's really fine stuff, and the first time it rained it locked together like it was cement. Drains about as well too.

A third bed that was planted into the fill dirt, rocks and all, is turning out to be better soil. But the plants that are planted in this pro mix are growing, just slowly. I figure now that we have the quantity of dirt we need, we can add to it with our compost pile and mix it together. Next year should be much better all around.

But for now, we'll do the best with what we have.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Last night we had a tornado warning. It ended up being just a lot of wind and rain and no actual tornado, so that was good. But we had already decided that since our garden beds and boxes weren’t draining as well as we’d hoped, we didn’t need to water them for a few days. We’ll go out tonight to see if our plants have completely drowned or are still holding on to the life raft with all their might.

It’s supposed to rain all week. Hang in there, little plants!