Monday, May 24, 2010
Last year Peter and I plunged into vegetable gardening with enthusiasm and utter ignorance. Many of the first batches of seeds we put in did not sprout. Once we discovered (at the advice of gardening neighbors) that we needed to cover the freshly planted seeds with potting soil and not our crappy Colorado dirt, things took a turn for the better. The heavy clay content here caused a cement-like covering to develop over the first seeds. They simply couldn’t push their way through.
In the end we had some real successes: patty pan squash, tomatoes (copious though not large), potatoes (copious but not large), lettuce, curly endive, herbs (which were slow to start but then lasted past the first frost), three kinds of peas (less successful), and my favorite, yellow wax beans.
This year we expanded by 100 sq. ft. to about 425 sq. ft. We also did some improvements to the soil (calcium silicate, lots of mulch, and bone meal as a side dressing), covered all the seeds with potting soil from the outset, and changed watering systems to get more even distribution. Nearly everything that’s been planted so far germinated very rapidly and is looking healthy and robust. One problem: Scooper (the dog) was so attracted to the bone meal that he began digging holes along the fence by the tomato plants, digging one of them up. I stuck it back in the ground and it appears it’s going to survive.
Obviously we're in the early stages. More to come.
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