Green Thumb Up My Nose

Garden Report for 120625

Cool weather, becoming hot and thundery, and rainy.

Did a lot of work on Section 2 of the keyhole garden. Got the cinderblock laid. Very uneven, due to the four-year old foundation having shifted and me being too lazy to dig it out again. Note that it is not at all round, because I’m using an existing garden and foundation. Moved the boxes into the enclosure.

Section 2 of the KHG with the cinderblock laid out and two of the green/brown filled boxes in place

I then continued to fill them with home-made compost — I dumped in the small garbage can you see on the right. I’d been using it to compost stuff. Bottom two feet (say, two months old) were completely soil-like. Top two feet completely garbage-like. Covered it up with more broadleaf weeds, 30 lb of coffee grounds, a pound or so of charcoal fines. Went down to the recycling center, and found that their sale is next Friday, but that a local (new) landscape company sells their stuff for not much more. Got about three garbage cansworth into the back of the Ford Focus, and dumped two of them on the garden before the heat (80F, I know, I’m a wimp) got to me. I was going to let it slide until Saturday, but remembered what I’d learned about mowing lawns in VA in the spring — do it now. So that evening I went out and finished the job. Glad I did. That night we had t-storms come through, which wetted everything down nicely.

Saturday I got another load of compost. Just barely filled the KHG to the tops of the blocks, with nowhere near enough for the central volcano. I almost decided to let it go at that, and build up with potting soil as the summer goes on, but we had some heavy rain overnight, and today I think I’ll wait until the compost shop opens on Tuesday — it really does need another load. I think that’s because I had more massive inputs last time — like a large box of telephone books, etc.

Two loads of compost and two days of rain. I need at least one more of each.

I have about 20 bean plants sprouted and waiting to go in to Section 2, along with five or six various squashes. Most of this section will be planted to summertime greens — chard, kale, amaranth. I figure I’ll plant just one side, with all those plants, then in a couple of weeks plant a remaining corner in greens, and a final corner in greens at the end of July.

Everything growing is growing well, but the lettuces are the only thing producing. My lettuce planter is 8x8x36″, planted with a lettuce combo. I found that if I give a 6″ or so section of it a haircut, right along the top of the planter, I get enough for a small salad; and if mixed with some store-bought iceberg and spinach, two normal salads. By the time I’ve worked my way to the end of the container, the first cut region has regrown. We’ll see how long the lettuce can keep this up before it gets discouraged. Some of the lettuce in the KHG is now big enough to start thinning. Tomatoes doing OK. Some are starting to flower, but no fruit yet, and probably not until August. Carrots in the deep container haven’t sprouted at all. Might have planted too deep. I’ll try again later this week.

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