Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kristy Rustay: Good News Garden

A few weeks ago I posted about the loss of my last garden and starting afresh in my new place. I marked my plot, had it rototilled, dumped a bunch of organic compost/soil, and planted vegetables.

When I planned my garden, I started in back a few feet out from the tree line. I planted peas and
lettuce in those back rows, knowing that as the summer 
heat increased they would appreciate the shade.
As I finished transplanting and sowing in my new garden, I ended up with an unplanted row (the front row
in the picture above). I donated that extra row to my neighbor Jeanne, who planted tomatoes, dill, and parsley. 

The garden report so far is pretty good! Most veggies are growing and doing well. Romaine lettuce, onions, chives, leeks, radishes, peppers, Swiss chard, cucumbers, and the newly sprouted squash (zucchini, summer, Boston marrow, and sweet pumpkins) are all looking good. I do have a few plants with questionable health issues. I am attributing these issues to cool weather, too much rain, and hungry bunnies and slugs . . . those include peas, tomatoes, kale, and brussels sprouts. I also planted some bush beans, but rather late in the game — the first sprouts have just popped through the surface.

My daughter Josslyn helps water the garden. The white contraptions are shoe racks for closet organization,
repurposed here for cucumbers and squash. As the vines grow, I’ll add more. The racks will keep them
raised from the ground and reduce the chance of rotting vines (a problem I have had in the past).

I have high hopes that those in question will take a turn for the better. As for the tomatoes, the tapering off of the rain and the increasingly warmer days should give them a boost. As for hungry bunnies and slugs — I have attempted some organic methods: spreading coffee grounds* (to deter slugs and bugs) and dog fur (to deter those cute little bunnies) around the pea, kale, and brussels sprout plants. Only time will tell if these methods will do the trick.

*Coffee grounds contain nitrogen, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and other trace minerals. Add the grounds directly to your soil or to your compost pile and you will not only deter snails and slugs, but you will also promote beneficial worm activity and add nutrients to your garden!

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