Here's Katie's experiment in severe pruning. We had a few extra tomato plants, so we planted them in containers. This one's pruned to just the main stem.
Here's a side view of the newly planted garden.
Planted a few of the extra geraniums in small pots. This one's going to Jake's teacher!
Spinach is bolting. It seems so soon! I carefully picked off all of the usable leaves and cut the rest of the plant up and composted it. I got enough to make a small salad out of it. I'll plant more seeds next time. This time I used about 16. I'll about double it next time.
I took the plastic off of the greenhouse and am using it for gardening supply storage. We're keeping miracle grow soil in the wheelbarrow. I bought the light, dry kind that has to be reconstituted before it's used. We've built up the soil in the garden a few times with this soil, shoveling dirt in around the plants as it settles. It'll really begin drying up fast, as the plants get bigger, so more of it should help hold the water. We may mulch the actual garden to help hold the moisture later in the season.
I've had trouble with composting. I'll have to read up on it again. Initially, I used one small bag of soil and mixed in maybe 6-8 shovels full of compost to add to the garden and pots. Evidently, it wasn't ready, because I'm picking TONS of seedlings out of it. Consequently, I'm having trouble telling the weeds from some of the lettuces! And we're weeding more than we should have to because of the seedlings in the compost. I'll continue composting, but won't plan on using it until next year.
I can't believe the spinach bolted so soon. Next plantings, I think I'll move the cool-weather plants like spinach into a bit more shade.
I rearranged the containers on the back patios and added a geranium for color (OK, the color will take a little while). Here's Katie's side. I hope she likes it. I wonder if these should be moved into a more shadey area? At least the container on the table might be rabbit-proof because of its height. I have leftover fencing we can use if we need to for the others.
Here's the corner in the morning sun. The bleeding heart plants are getting pretty big, but I don't think they last all year. There's a hosta underneath and between the plants, I know it doesn't need much sun, but I hope it gets enough.
Katie and Jake planted all of the seeds on May 23. 5-6 days later, most have sprouted above the ground, but the cutworms have found several already. I hate to use it, but it's early, so I sprayed Seven around the seedlings. I'll get out to replant the missing plants - probably today (5/30).
Here's the garden yesterday. I put the extra container-tomatoes in the corners of the garden with fencing around them. They get watered easier that way. Anyone need a tomato plant? We don't have room in the garden, but I can't just get rid of them!
Most of the tomato plants are tall enough now to begin weaving through the netting. On 5/29, I gave the tomatoes a magnesium boost by adding epsom salts to the soil. Directions called for 1 dry teaspoon in the soil around the plant for each foot of plant every 2 weeks. I used between 1/2 and 1 tsp. on the plants, depending on their size. Last year we mixed in water and fed the tomatoes a few times with great results. This year, I actually read the directions on the epson salts box. Spreading dry was sure easier!
Here's some lettuce coming up. I don't have trouble telling weeds from lettuce where the lettuce is all the same (like here), but in a mixed-lettuce seed - well, we may be eating weeds along with the lettuce. :-) I've got cages set up and ready in case the rabbits get greedy.
This tomato plant was most of the way dead when it was re-planted, probably 2 weeks ago.
I've also been checking the SFG plants every day for bugs. I sprayed 2 of the pepper plants with Seven when I saw evidence of more than a bug or two eating away at the leaves. I'm hoping using the bug spray early will let me NOT use it later in the season. I'm following instructions on the label for when and how much to spray, including time needed in between the last spray and harvesting the veggies. I'd like to use this as little as is necessary and leave as much time as possible between the last spray and harvest.
Lastly, I've had a bad history with ants. Our last house was invaded with the flying variety, just as we put it up on the market! So, when I noticed lots of ants here, I got a bit worried. (Something I never would have even noticed before that incident.) I bought 8 ant baits, put 1 in each corner of the garden, 1 outside each back door, and 1 each in our front gardens. They are supposed to not only kill the ants that have contact, but the ants take the poison back to the colony and kill the whole colony. It remains to be seen how well they work.
I swear I can look out my back window and see the tomato plants growing! More later.