Right in My Own Backyard – More death and destruction

The weather this past week has been up and down, wet and dry, and all kinds of stuff.  On April 28 we had a wicked wind storm that not only meant restrictions for the international bridge, but totalled the willow tree next door.  I kinda flippantly named a previous post “Death and Destruction”, and now in the face of tree decimation, I see that my loss was pretty trivial.   And while I may have wished that tree dead in the midst of hacking off yet another root from my garden, I am sorry to see something like that happen.  It was a really pretty willow, and the way the moon shone through the leaves was a beautiful sight.

I finally got to the landscaper to ask about the earth we want to put in the garden, and from the information I gave her, she says I’ll need five yards which will cost 105$.  Apparently, twenty big bags or the front bucket of a backhoe is what makes up a yard.   She based this estimate on my telling her the garden measurements as well as how deep I needed to go to level it up to the neighbour’s somewhat.  The latter detail was just a guess, and I don’t think I’m that good at it.  I was kinda surprised when she said five yards and when I mentioned it to Lester he seemed just as surprised as me.  We decided that we’ll go ahead and get two yards. 

I think what I’ll do is mix one yard into the garden and then use a technique I saw on Vitality Gardening with the rest.   Vitality Gardening is a show whose host, Colleen Rajotte is basically doing the same as me; documenting her progress growing a vegetable garden except that I have a blog and she has a t.v. show; as well as access to expert guests.  Her guest last week was a chef who grew up in Italy and showed us how he grows tomatoes that can weigh as much as 2.5k!  What he did was make a hole for his plant in which he put leaf rot, a sprinkle of bone meal, and some sheep manure.  Then, he put his plant in and put the black earth in on top and he really packed it down in there.  He said not to be afraid to put your weight behind it to make sure  the plant is packed in tightly. 

Another thing I learned from Vitality Gardening’s Italian friend is that I’ve been starting my seeds all wrong too.  He had used a plastic container that he divided into 3 sections with what looked like cut milk carton, and he really laid the seeds down.   I mean he used a lot of seeds.  He said that the earth needs to be pre moistened before putting the seeds in and after you put more earth on top, you’re supposed to sprinkle the water on with your hand.    Apparently, any other way of watering can disturb the seed placement.  He also covered the container with plastic wrap which he said will lessen the need for watering.  When the seedlings came up, he took each one and gave them their own pot.  It didn’t take long before he had good, strong plants for planting.  I’ll be ready next year.

The seedlings all seem to be okay, but now that I see how much farther advanced my tomatoes should be, I’m a little sad about that.  I also read somewhere that broccoli is hardy enough to be planted in ground temps as low as –2; who knew?  The cantaloupes are springing up and looking good, though in one pot they are all growing along the edge of the pot.  Was I drunk when I planted them?  Or maybe it was a case of the aforementioned seed displacement. 

I did a little gardening for dear MIL today getting all the weeds out of her garden and I feel like I'm ready to go with mine, so with any luck I’ll be laying out the garden by this weekend, and maybe even get a few plants in the ground.  I hope I can find some inexpensive bone meal though.  I saw some at Home Depot and a little bucket was 14$ or something like that.  

Wish me luck!

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9/5/11 14:50

    Looking good. I like the article on planting . Keep up the good work,,,,,,,