We’re starting off the garden log with a round-up of what we’ve done so far, along with today’s efforts.
Six weeks ago, we moved from the West coast of the United States to the Midwest. After two weeks of getting the house in order, we turned some attention to getting a garden started to help ease the grocery budget.
Four weeks ago:
We looked into what will be appropriate to plant in the very near future. Using the guide I found here, we reviewed the planting calendar for what we would eat that we could go ahead and plant. Of all the things appropriate to plant in late July and early August, we settled on:
- Summer Squash
- Lettuce (two kinds)
- Tomatoes (three types)
The planting windows for this time of year are about two weeks long. We decided to plant two or three of each vegetable, twice, so we can have an “early” harvest and a “late” harvest. To leave room for the mid- to late-August planting of something else, we settled on four rows, each with half the length planted.
Three weeks ago:
We started the tomatoes indoors in a seed starter and started preparing the ground. We cleared a 12-foot by 36-foot area in the back yard so we can have the four rows, three feet apart. With the limited tools we moved with, we took the string trimmer to the grass to cut out the area, then a combination of shovel, pick, rake, and hoe to dig the first furrows. Talk about back-breaking work! After three partial days of working in the heat and humidity, the first two rows were ready to plant.
We planted the first two half-rows of everything except the tomatoes.
About ten days later, we planted another half-dozen tomatoes in the seed starter, giving us 12 plants we can transplant.
Looking at the sale papers last week, I found this gas-powered mini cultivator that was a really good deal. Knowing I needed two more rows and remembering the back-breaking work it took for the first two rows, I picked one up at the store a couple of days ago. Yesterday, I was able to dig two furrows in just about an hour.
The first two rows have sprouted and seem to be progressing along well. We added a soaker hose to make watering easier. I’ll get two more soaker hoses to cover the remainder of our four rows.
We planted the second two half-rows of beans, broccoli, squash, zucchini, cucumber and lettuce.
Grandma added the tomatoes in the middle of all four rows, away from the broccoli. Since it was a beautiful morning, we took the opportunity to go ahead and plant the first succession of carrots and cauliflower. Like the broccoli, the cauliflower is planted at the end away from the tomatoes:
We’ll plant the second succession of carrots and cauliflower in about two weeks. If I get inspired (since I now have a cultivator), I may cut another furrow so we can plant something else. The more garden and orchard we have (no spoilers for spring!), the less I will have to mow!