Today's garden chores:
1. Fertilize. The main thing I wanted to do was fertilize today. Everything is growing so fast and I don;t want the nutrients to run low. I scattered granulated 5-10-5 (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) everywhere and watered it in well. I also added some Miracle-Gro Tomato Food (18-18-21). My dad found a nice article on tomato culture with fertilizer recommendations. "Tomatoes respond well to fertilizer applications, especially phosphorus. Excess nitrogen fertilizer can result in plants with extremely vigorous vine growth but little fruit production. Apply 2-1/2 to 3 pounds of a complete fertilizer, such as 5-10-10, 5-20-20, or 8-16-16 per 100 square feet of garden area. Work the fertilizer into the soil about 2 weeks before planting. An additional side dressing of a nitrogen fertilizer may be desirable after the first cluster of flowers have set fruit." My soil tests said my nitrogen was very low, so I went ahead with the 18-18-21 on the tomatoes.
2. Sow soy beans. I seeded more soybeans in my community plot. They have two problems. The row is next to the potato bed and the potato plants just won't stop growing. I didn't know they got so big! Also the seeds I planted earlier have been dug up and eaten by some critter. Maybe a chipmunk? Birds? So I replanted lots of seeds a bit out of the way of the potatoes and covered the soil with row cover.
3. Transplant lettuce. I transplanted a bunch of little red summer crisp Batavian lettuce seedlings. The spring lettuce is definitely getting bothered by the summer heat now. It is bolting in my shady garden. Time to get the Batavian going. Its supposed to do better in the heat. I planted it at the edge of the squash bed and between the tomatoes. I like to fill in all those empty spaces....
4. Transplant perennials. I've been picking up flowering perennial plants here and there to add to the bed next to my house. I planted several plants today, along with some annuals I grew from seed: zinnias and cosmos.
5. Weed parsnips. I was so thrilled to learn what a parsnip seedlings looks like and to find that I had some in my plot! Today I removed all of the weeds and left behind about ten parsnip plants! I'll seed more now that I know what's what, but still ten is not bad.
- I already have summer squash forming! I've never had this so early. Both Zephyr, yellow with green tip, and zucchini.
- Tomatoes are blooming. Its usually 30 days from bloom to fruit. They look good. About 1 foot tall now.
- The carrots are starting to grow well now and develop nice long roots.
- Lots of beetles on the pumpkin plant. A black beetle with yellow stripes. Funny just the pumpkin and not other squashes.
- I can't hear any wren babies yet, but I expect I will soon.
- My giant sunflowers are almost 2 feet tall.