Week 18 – May Garden Updates

Stormy and Litter 40

Stormy and Litter 40

This past week was a short one blog-wise, since I was sooo late with last week’s blog, and seem to be on time with this one… However a few things have been getting done, and changing. Stormy finally had her litter last week, and is doing a great job as a Mommy. There are about 4 more Red Wattle sows that should farrow in the next month or so. It will be good to see lots of babies running around again.

 

Peanut Seedlings

Peanut Seedlings

The peanut seedlings are growing fast in the seed flat in the greenhouse, and while I forgot to get a picture today, suffice it to say they are about twice this size now. I need to get the bed ready for these, so I can start the next batch of them. I finally have the Okra bed ready, crazy late, but the seedlings are growing in the flat in the greenhouse as well, so they do have a little jump as long as they transplant well. The sweet potatoes are soooo slow to grow. I can’t understand why, the ones I save from the garden usually are crazy growing beasts. These slips might be big enough to plant in a couple weeks… maybe…

Sweet Potato Slips - Beauregard

Sweet Potato Slips – Beauregard

There is still a lot of overgrown Winter squash, and pumpkins in the greenhouse in pots waiting for a space in the garden, not to mention about a hundred more cantaloupes, watermelons, squashes, honeydews, and the like just starting to leaf out. I did get a great start while I was getting the Okra bed ready, I have a head start on enough space for (maybe) 1/2 of them all. I still need to clear out and prep 3 beds for more Peppers, Summer Squash, New Zealand Spinach.

Testing the feedbag mulch idea

Testing the feedbag mulch idea

I did get 1/2 of the Tobacco planted in a bed, and I decided to experiment with the Feed Sack mulch method, well see how well that works. I put a few extra plants into the bed, Bush Cucumbers, a couple watermelons, and cantaloupes. I figure they will cover the bed to make it look better, and keep things a little cooler. The other half of the bed will be about the same with the other variety of Tobacco. Those that know me will wonder where my head is, knowing full well that I need to quit smoking. (I have had emphysema for years) I so do agree, but have tried for years, and seemingly cannot. The last time I had a very bad experience with a very common drug to help quit, so I decided to go this route. If I grow this, and cure it etc, it will not have all the pesticides, and herbicides, etc (which is where you hear tobacco has arsenic and all this bad stuff – it’s not the tobacco, it’s the sprays they use) anyhow, Maybe, without all the industries’ add-ins, and additives, maybe I can be able to quit… Well, one can hope…

(top left) Snow White, 2 peacevine (right side), and a Smarty F1 (bottom left)

(top left) Snow White, 2 peacevine (right side), and a Smarty F1 (bottom left)

Tomatoes… yea, they are getting ready to bury me, lol. I will (probably not) be ready for them… but they are giving me some decent samples.

I still need to finish the rest of the support walls, but the walls I built are looking too short already.. we’ll see how bad it gets.. So far I have been getting Currant, Cherry, and Grape tomatoes, but there are some nice looking larger ones getting… larger. I’m not going all out for the biggest tomatoes, since the way that is done is to remove all the other tomatoes, in favor of getting 1 or 2 really big ones per vine. That seems counter productive at this point, even though I might at some point give it a go and see how big I can get some to grow. Right now, I’d rather have a bunch of normal sized ones, than one too big to use.

Here is a little look into the issue I have had getting the garden beds ready. This little burm of grass is what I have been gathering from the space I’m working on. I till through it, then rake the weeds, grass, and roots from the top. Then I till through again. And rake again…and till again… This space has been tilled and raked out about 8 times. I still keep getting lots of bermudagrass roots. The majority of the roots are located about 10-12 inches deep in this space. Right above the sandstone layer. The big tillers don’t like going that deep and loose forward motion and get high centered on the loose soil, and the tires won’t pull it through which leads to me pushing and shoving to get through the mess, and not get deep enough still. They work great on the first few times through getting the top weeds, and such torn up, but I can’t reverse the tines to go deeper.

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The grass gathered after 8 times tilling and raking

What I finally decided was to use the Mantis (such a tiny tool for the job) to go the extra depth, which it does really well, but it covers very little space at a time. Then use the pitchfork to get in under, and kind of sift the rooty bits to the top where I can then rake them up. If I don’t go to all this trouble, I will end up with a virtual weed patch within a couple weeks. So, that is what I will be doing every minute I can get throughout the coming days. Basically, I might have the remaining space ready for Fall, lol. But, The Fall is where my focus is for a full on proper garden. Very soon, I will begin cloning the Tomatoes, so that will be an interesting learning experience. I have to get that figured out before Summer hits hard and the plants start hurting from the heat. I’ll leave you with this thought from the Greenhouse Guardian…

Take time to smell the Squash Blossoms!

Take time to smell the Squash Blossoms!

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