Weekly garden update


Just a quick peek at what’s been going on outside. It’s May, and I would have liked to have been farther along garden-wise, but the weather and schoolwork have conspired against me. But now that it’s officially Summer Break, I’m playing quick catch-up.

Today, I planted bush beans in one small part of garden. And then I planted a few radishes in between the rows of beans. With luck, the bean plants will shade the radishes as they grow, and keep them from getting burned by the sun I hope will be showing up in the next couple of weeks. I’d show you a picture, but it would only look like a patch of recently turned dirt.

I can show you a picture of the cute little zucchini seedlings that I transplanted to their new home today:

Zucchini seedlings, in their new home.

So cute, right? And so tiny looking surrounded by all that dirt. But, hopefully, in the coming week, I’ll be able to take this same picture again, and it will show the pole beans along the wall, and the little radishes I planted in front of these little guys.

I do want to show you a different patch of dirt, though. This one is where I planted the seed corn I got from a friend LAST spring.

Corn patch

This is my first time attempting to grow corn, and I’m a bit skeptical about how it will turn out. There’s not a lot going in the corn’s favor right now. This part of the yard was originally a sandbox for the daycare center that used to be run from this house years ago. The more recent owners put a layer of landscaping rocks over the sand, but then never weeded it. By the time we got to it, it was a mix of sand and large rocks and composted weeds and fresh weeds. The sand goes down about 8 inches!

I did a little research online about growing corn in sandy soil, and there are a few people who assure me it can be done, as long as I give the corn some richly fertilized compost regularly. So I tilled in a bag of rich potting soil with bat guano, and will hope for the best.

As for spacing, I only found a handful of sites that explained how to grow corn in a small space. Typically, you want to give the corn 2-3 feet between rows, so each stalk can get enough sun. But does that apply to smaller plots? I found one site where they suggested you could squeeze more stalks in closer, as long as you only had two or three short rows. I’m going to try for three rows here, and see what happens. The space is only about 3′ x 3′. I figure if the stalks along the fence don’t do as well, that’s OK. For today, I only planted two rows, and I’ll plant another row in a couple of weeks. I don’t want 25 ears of corn coming ripe all at the same time!

I also seeded some lettuces and spinach. I like to heavily broadcast a variety of lettuce seeds, and then thin them with tender leaves for a salad. The interesting thing about my garden bed is that they went into the same space where the swiss chard had been in the winter. In the winter, when the sun is in the south, that part of the bed is the only one to get good sun. In the summer, when the sun is in the north, that is the only part of the bed that gets a good mix of sun and shade. Anywhere else in the bed, the lettuces would get fried. This space gives them a chance to grow nicely without bolting too quickly.

The tomatoes I planted in the front yard are doing fairly well. I don’t see much in the way of new growth, but I suppose that means they’re digging in some roots. I’ve been picking off the little suckers and flowers I see, trying to encourage them to put more energy into growing. Unfortunately, with all the rain we’ve been getting, they’re probably getting more water than I’d like. But with any luck, they’ll start to take off in the next couple of weeks.

Tomatoes.

You might think they’re planted quite closely together. They are only about 18″ apart. The idea is to build them a trellis system, so they can grow up. I have the plans, and the lumber, and hope to work on that this weekend. You can be sure I’ll post pictures of the construction and final placement!

Other things around the yard that are making me happy are:

Cyclamen seed pods!

I’m keeping a close eye on my cyclamen. I expect that it will take a couple of weeks for these seed pods to finally drop their seeds. I’m already anxious to know if any take root and grow new baby cyclamens for me next winter!

Nasturtium seedling!

One of the nasturtium seeds I planted two weeks ago finally sprouted! I reseeded the rest of the area, so with any luck, next week I’ll have more seedlings to show! These are supposed to be a lovely pale orange color. I can hardly wait!

Fucshia!

My fucshia that I planted two years ago, is finally starting to grow! And make little flowers! It’s been so long since I bought it, I can’t remember which kind it is. I can’t wait to see the lovely flowers!

Geranium

When I look at my front yard, I’m usually a little sad at how unorganized and ugly it is. But this little geranium always makes me smile. This is the first plant I bought to put in a little plant stand at our front door of our house. When it started to get a bit ragged and pot-bound, I planted it in the ground. There it has survived fairly well, and out lived several other plants that got overrun with weeds and bugs.

Pink and white geranium.

The current front-door geranium is just starting to bloom. So pretty!

The previous pink and white geranium.

And this is the previous front-door geranium. She’s just waiting for a spot to be cleared in the front yard, where she will be able to grow and flower to her heart’s content! Similar to the current geranium, she is a pink and white variegated type, but her pink is darker and more dramatic.

OK, enough blogging. Back to weeding!

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