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. But Skippy always stood by me and was a great friend. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps and garden with me. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees and 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 22, 2008

planting day!!!

aerial
If you click on this photo, you can mouse over the beds to see what's growing where.

Well, its really great to do the big planting day with a helper. Amelia from SmartTart helped me plant in my community plot today. We got a ton of work done. My garden is suddenly full of seedlings.

Here's a list of our accomplishments:

- 15 tomatoes planted (with collars for cut worms)
- 3 hills of summer squash seedlings planted (Zephyr, Starship and Sunburst)
- new cucumber bed prepared and 3 varieties of seedlings planted
- gourd, squash and pumpkin seedlings planted along the south side fence
- new bed prepared in north-east corner
- the new north-east planted with chiogga beets, onion seedlings (small white and Spanish yellow) and Stuttgarter onion sets
- seed more carrots seeded where my early seeding failed
- seed more parsnips seeded since none sprouted from my early seedling
(Did I forget anything here Amelia?)

What a productive day! And many, many thanks to my awesome helper!

A few comments:

- I have killed so many cucumber, squash and watermelon seedlings in the past two days that I am feeling miserable. They are soooo delicate. Next year I will remember to plant many extras of these. Somehow, I just slip and step on them or bump the stem and it breaks off. Arrgh. I planted another tray of several varieties yesterday.

- I planted some large squashes along my fence. I wonder, are heavy fruited varieties OK on a sturdy fence? Big Rock is a 20+ lb pumpkin, Lakota is a 5-7 lb heirloom squash, and my watermelons are a big variety. Can the vines support the heavy fruits or will they fall off before ripening?

- I planted my summer squash in hills. Right now only 1-2 seedlings per hill, but I'll add more to replace the ones I squished. My question is why hills? Several people have asked me this now. I have just always read to plant squash in hills. I assume it makes the soil warm up faster if it is hilled. Is this the right answer?

- We made little cut worm collars by cutting off the bottom of the plastic pots and using the 1.5 inch pot rim as a collar. The plant can be pushed through the collar and planted deep with the collar remaining at the surface. I don't know if there are cut worms at my new community plot, but I'd rather not find out with my babied little heirloom seedlings.

- I planed to only plant 12 tomato seedlings, but couldn't part with a few and ended up squeezing in 15.

- Skippy was very good today. He liked having extra hands around to pat him. Amelia did comment that HE gets all the attention on my blog, but actually just snoozes in the garden. (Shhh, don't tell anyone...) I do have to add that he is great company when I'm on my own and he does a good job defending the plot intermittently against unseen and probably non-existent threats.

- I thought my original plot outline would be enough space, but already I'm looking for more space. Today we narrowed several paths, and extended the north plot to both the east and west. I hope I'll be able to get into the plot to water and harvest later in the season.

- I'd like to get a NSEW directional sign for my garden. Anyway, most of my community plot photos are taken from the brush pile to the east of my garden. So north is to the right, south is to the left, west is straight ahead.

- I went back to the plot to water our newly planted seedlings because the rain predicted to fall between 3 pm and 4 pm did not. At 5:30 I went over and watered. Of course heavy rains came in later in the evening. But if I didn't water, it would not have rained ....

- I have a very cute new cayenne seedling from Amelia. It is an exciting seedling because she grew it from seeds she saved from plants she grew last year. She grew a variety of peppers including yellow wax, cayenne and another variety. Peppers do self-pollinate, but have a fairly high rate of cross-pollination if bees are around (reference site). It will be interesting to see what the chiles from this plant look like. I will plant this plant and my seedlings in a week or so. In the meantime, I will continue to baby it...

And finally, another thank-you to Amelia! I really enjoyed her help.

newly planted tomato plants new cuke plot
new beet and oinion bed lettuce
from the doorway

(By the way, Skippy dug that little hole to the left in the bottom photo. That's where he napped today while we worked.)

chile and bell peppers (Capsicum)

7 Comments:

OpenID smarttart said...

That reference site on pepper pollination is very interesting! I looked up cayenne, banana pepper, and bell pepper on Wikipedia and it looks like they all are from the capsicum annum species, meaning they could have all cross-polinated. I think it's still MOST likely that the cayenne pollinated itself, since it was extremely prolific with flowers and the other two plants were far less so. But there's definitely a chance that there was some crossing going on. Neat! In the future maybe I'll try to encourage cross-pollination.

Again, it was very fun to help you out today. Can't wait to see how your gardens turn out in the coming months - and I'm also looking forward to watching these tomato seedlings grow. Thanks!

May 23, 2008 12:03 AM

 
Anonymous Heather's Garden said...

Gosh, how are you going to eat all of those tomatoes? There are two people in our house full-time (2 more part-time) and 5 tomato plants gave us more than enough tomatoes last year. Come to think of it, maybe my husband was eating fewer tomatoes so I could enjoy the fruits of my labor (no pun intended). Still it seems like you will have an awful lot of produce coming out of your home garden and community garden spot this year.

May 23, 2008 12:52 AM

 
Anonymous Paul said...

Can you post a better picture of the cutworm collars? Burpee sells the "Automator" to do this task:

http://www.burpee.com/product/id/104916.do

May 23, 2008 9:08 AM

 
Blogger Enjay said...

What a productive day you had!
This is my first time posting, but I was scrounging around on the web and found a site that details ways for the residents of New Orleans to clean up the contaminates in their soil (including lead) by using plants to pull them out, and I thought you might like to see the link, if you haven't already.
http://www.commongroundrelief.org/node/214

Thanks for sharing your lovely gardens, I do so enjoy seeing what you're up to. :)

May 23, 2008 9:43 AM

 
Blogger kathy said...

The soil clean up site is a good resource. Thanks. I have planted my lead contaminated garden with sunflowers and clover for now. The sunflowers seem to be a very good choice for lead extraction. I'll remember to dispose of them in the trash. I plant to move several ornamentals there soon, especially my peonies. Also pumpkins and gourds. An unusual combination... Next year I'll plan it out better.

May 24, 2008 11:15 PM

 
Blogger chicago dyke said...

would netting work for the pumpkins? just something to hammock it a little? is the fence is sturdy, small nails or hooks could be a temp. option.

May 27, 2008 11:27 AM

 
Blogger Central FLA Gardener said...

very clever idea with the flickr tags to id rows and squares. i wish blogger would copy that functionality... maybe someone out there has a developed a plugin to do it...

June 03, 2008 7:53 AM

 

Post a Comment

<< Home















your ad here

    kathy@skippysgarden.com


Irrigation Direct Drip irrigation kits from Irrigation Direct













garden garden garden garden garden garden garden garden garden garden