This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


seedlings tomato film
pepper seedlings pepper plants
dill outdoor seedlings
I brought my trays of squashes and cucumber seedlings outside this morning to enjoy the warmth and sun. My tomatoes have been outside (in pots) for more than a week now. I'd like to plant them all this weekend. I put some fancy plastic film on the beds where the tomatoes will go. Only my chiles and peppers are left inside under the lights now.

I was amused to find big patches of dill that have volunteered in the path between my beds. I didn't need to go to the effort of saving seed and winter sowing. Such an independent plant!

Today I planted seeds in my home garden beds for pole beans and several types of bush beans (Cherokee wax, purple beans, green bean Provider, and haricots verts Maxibel). I mixed seeds for all of these together and planted them along side the peas. I sprinkled bean inoculant in the soil as I planted.

My dad asked my why I bother using inoculant for the beans. As he said, one plant makes too many beans anyway and by mid-season you're wishing you didn't have so many beans. The package says it improves the soil by increasing nitrogen fixation as well as producing faster plant growth and earlier harvests. My soil is perpetually low in nitrogen levels (I did finally remember to fertilize a couple of days ago), so I think it can use this boost.


Anonymous PlantingOaks said...

I did a lot of research on innoculants this year since I'm growing peas for the first time. From my understanding, they are only useful if the plant (bean, pea, soybean...) has not been successfully grown in that location before. The innoculant works by providing a symbiotic microbe which allows the legume to do its nitrogen-fixing. However, once you've innoculated the soil and grown beans there once, the microbe is there for good (or at least a long time) so you wouldn't need to do it again.

May 15, 2008 5:07 PM

Blogger kathy said...

I rotate the locations and its hard to remember where I've planted them before. My peas did so much better last year, which was the first year I've used inoculant. I haven't grown peas much because they never did very well. Maybe I've never had them in the same spot twice. But the beans always do well. I probably don't need the bean inoculant (as my dad said.) I've grown them forever, probably all over the garden by now. I can probably skip this next year.

I did use inoculant with the soybeans I sowed today in my community plot. I have no idea whats been growing there, so probably a safe bet that it needs it.

May 15, 2008 5:19 PM


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