Sunday, May 1, 2011


This weekend the rain ceased and I decided to buy transplants and get them in the ground.  For anything that can't be directly sown into the garden I have to buy transplants because I do not have an indoor light system to start seedlings.  It took over 5 hours to get everything planted, although it doesn't look like 5 hours worth of work.  Part of the problem is I am too precise and perfectionistic.  However I have the sunburn to prove the hours I spent in the garden today.  It was wonderful to be outside on such a beautiful day.

Last year I planted all of my transplants on May 6.  I decided that the weather was good enough and that I would probably just have to cover them with row cover a couple of nights to protect them.  Honestly I was late on lettuces and such that with my transplants I wanted to be early and have them get a head start.

A mixture of tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, basil, leeks, mint, eggplant, pepper and marigolds.  We plant marigolds in the borders to help keep out pests.  Supposedly the French Marigold's scent is undesirable to bunnies and the like.  We have been planting them from year one and haven't had any trouble with the multitude of bunnies and continue to do so, who knows if it's what really keeps them out. 

The old garden bordered with marigold's, basil planted and leeks transplanted.  Half the leeks look pitiful, the leaves have wilted and flopped over.  They were more work than I realized to get them in the ground.  I watered them right away and am hoping the water and cooler night will perk them up.

The second bed has zucchini, cucumber, green beans, purple snap beans, Jacob's Cattle and Kenearly Yellow drying beans.  The bottom left corner of the bed that you can tell is dry has been left empty for a succession planting in about two weeks.  The picture on the right is Jacob's Cattle beans, I picked them purely based on looks and reputation.  I spaced the beans two inches apart according the seed package directions.  This seems too close but I figure they can be thined out if necessary.

I was only able to find one lone zucchini plant and I can't find any yellow summer squash at any local garden centers.  I prefer to buy from local stores because there quality and selection is better than the bix box stores.  I have another garden center I am going to go check tomorrow.  I dug the wholes where the other plants will go once I get them.  On the far right is a cucumber variety specifically for pickles.  Neither one of us like cucumber but we both love pickles.

This box has the eight different tomato varieties, eggplant, pepper and the far upper right corner that was left was filled in with green beans.  Eggplant and green beans are great companion plants as the green beans help to repel Colorado Potato Beetle which is a pest of eggplant.  We plant the marigolds around the edge of the beds and in the middle with the tomatoes because in addition to repelling pests marigold's help to kill nematodes that can live in the soil.  I also planted borage seeds along the border that will come up in between the marigolds.  I read that deer seem to stay away from them and might help to repel them from the garden.  Borage is also an edible flower and will be a pretty garnish to many of our dishes.

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