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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Garden Update - Basil, Tomatoes, Garden Beds

Garden Beds

I am so far behind this year.  Building the shed has really delayed my preparations this year.  I finally got two of my three garden beds built - and one of them filled with "compost blend" garden soil from a local supplier.  According to their web site, it "consists of decomposed organic material, chicken manure or cow manure, pine fines, and screened topsoil."  It was a hell of a lot cheaper than the gazillion bags of Miracle Grow Garden Soil I used last year.  $26 for a cubic yard, vs something like $8 a bag for a 2 cubic foot bag.  For comparison, a cubic yard is 27 cubic feet.  My 4'x8' garden bed at 10" deep takes about 25 cubic feet of dirt, and as I've always suspected, "one cubic yard" from American Soil & Mulch is quite a bit bigger than 27 cubic feet since I nearly filled about 1/3 of the second bed.  At any rate, let's just say it would take 12 bags of miracle grow garden soil at $8 a bag, or $96 to fill ONE garden bed, so it's a big savings.

Basil in the Ground!

When I started my Hydroponic Basil project, I moved the rest of my basil seedlings to another "sunny window" - of course, sunny is a relative term in my house - I have no legitimate sunny windows.  I noticed today they were getting horrendously leggy - they should have been in the ground a week ago and they would've been fine, but sitting in the window without the grow light caused problems, so I did an emergency planting of 12 sweet genovese basil plants out in the front "garden" ... an area which I'd tilled up over the last few weeks and mixed in some of the aforementioned compose blend to go with the three inches of decaying triple shreded pine bark that I'd been putting down for the last 6 years.  Anyway, I planted most of them deep to help with their spindly natures, hopefully they'll do all right.  The remaining basil plants are still in their large peat pellets - the purple basil is growing much slower.  They are now permanently located outside.

Tomate Seedlings

So, my tomatoe seedlings do seem to be recovering from their violent transplant.  They've been outside almost every day and most nights for the last week or so.  Some of the leaves dried up and died but what remains does seem to be looking more healthy now than they did a week ago.  I think they'll survive.  Feel free to comment if you have anything to say about these.

I probably won't get around to planting my gardens until after Easter Weekend.  I could do the tomatoes this weekend, as their destination garden will be completed, but I feel like they'd actually be better off in the jiffy pots for a couple more weeks - as long as they are outside soaking up the sun and as long as I keep them properly hydrated.  Transplanting from the jiffy pots into the ground shouldn't cause them any problems.  I could plant my other garden this weekend, which would contain the cucumbers and the three sisters garden (corn, pole beans, and zucchini squash) but that garden bed is delayed because there are two sweetgum tree stumps I need to have removed.  I've got someone coming to do that on Saturday so I *might* be able to get that garden built and filled this weekend, we'll see.  The other garden that's already completed is the most sunny, and is reserved for the hot peppers and eggplant - which I can't put in the ground until early May anyway.

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