Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Garden is IN!

We managed to get everything planted on .... let me get my calendar.... Sunday, May 18.   We planted the remaining seeds and then transplanted the little seedlings we'd been growing indoors.

Two things I've learned recently:
1. My beloved said I was watering the seedlings too much.  I scoffed.  The books said to fill the trays the little planters were in and the plants would suck up what they needed.  Whenever the trays were low, I added another inch or so of water. Well, it was the SOIL that was sucking up all the moisture.  Some of the plants were in mud below the surface of the soil and nobody had impressive roots. (The other half of the time he was complaining that I was letting them dry out.  We may have His and Hers seedlings next year.....!)

The problem, aside from wussy roots, which I assume is from over-watering (?), is that the soil fell apart when we went to transplant, exposing the roots and generally making a mess.  Transplant shock is going to be worse than it needed to be.

Next Year: Different watering and bigger pots.  No egg cartons!  Ever!  Also, just one plant per pot for stuff started indoors.  My beloved planted both plants, together in the same square, when there were two in a pot.  I thought he was going to just pick the best one.  It was highly annoying because now they are competing against each other, not just the weeds.  (Maybe His and Hers gardens....)

2. A garden calendar is an excellent idea.  I'm really happy we did one.  I dealt with cabin fever by putting in dates for starting indoors, transplanting, and sowing into the ground for everything we were going to grow, including second sowings.  (Having a book specific to Nebraska was extremely helpful, in my case Month-By-Month Gardening in Nebraska.)   I also noted when food should be ready to harvest.

May 1 - start hardening off shallots and tomatos
May 8 - plant chervil and chives
May 10 - Plant beans outdoors
May 15 - Plant arugula, basil, melons..... [and much more]

I wrote all of the above dates in pencil and then wrote in pen the dates we actually got around to doing what we were supposed to.  I also note every time it rains and I plan to note every time I water.

The rabbit fence around the entire perimeter of the yard is finished!  That means these annoying cages around the garden bed can come down:
We harvested our first strawberry on Tuesday, the only one that was ready.  Of course, they aren't supposed to be ready until June.  I'm going to be keeping track of harvests, too.
Since we are mostly learning from our mistakes, I want to write stuff down.  That way we don’t have to learn more than once!

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