Disclosure: This post has been compensated by Monsanto Co. and the “Hey Let’s Grow Monsanto Home Garden Program”. All experiences and opinions are mine alone. #HeyLetsGrow
This week it was time to plant everything in the ground–my transplants, my seedlings, and any seeds to be planted directly into the garden.
Hey Let’s Grow sent me thirteen different packets of seeds. There were two types of tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, three types of hot peppers, bell peppers, lettuce, a type of beans, cucumbers, and spinach.
By the end of last week, I had tomato transplants, the beans and cucumbers still in seeds, and the rest in seedlings. All were ready to be placed in the garden.
Which brings me to last Friday, when I was able to finish the job.
Chuck tilled the ground for me with a tiller rented from Home Depot. We made sure not to over till, though. It is important to not bust up all the clods of dirt. My garden this year is about 7′ x 9′. I purposely try to keep my garden small. One plant can sometimes supply more than my family can eat.
Then I mapped out my garden. I decided to plant my four tomato bushes at the four corners. In between the two tomatoes at the west end I planted broccoli and some of the cauliflower. On the next row are lettuce and the rest of the cauliflower.
Frankly, the broccoli looks puny. I’m wondering if it will make it, but the cauliflower looks good.
Next row over is spinach and the bell peppers.
After that row is a row of the three varieties of hot peppers. I only had two of each variety to plant, though. My peppers were the last to germinate, and not all did.
Finally in the last row before the far eastern row, I planted seeds for cucumbers and beans. I placed the beans near the northern fence line so they would have something to climb. Jack might need a way back down someday.
Lastly, the other two tomato transplants were added to the eastern corners. There is still more room for other plants if I decide to add them later. I did hold back two transplants of each kind for later planting if needed.
Getting the Soil Content Correct
After Chuck tilled, we spread eight bags of mushroom compost and an equal amount of top soil. Then I hand tilled them together and raked them smooth. I usually use Black Cow, but we have a mushroom farm nearby, so I decided to try mushroom compost this year instead. We knew what to add to the soil because of past years of gardening. Remember, we let this ground take a break last year.
Next, I made rows, banking up little parallel hills. Sadly, my rows aren’t straight; but I didn’t take the time to run a string line between two stakes.
All plants were spaced at least 1 foot apart. The tomato transplants were planted deep, all the way to their colydon leaves, their lowest set of leaves.
The rest, seedlings, were planted only as deep as they had been before.
Finally, the seeds were planted about a half inch deep.
Next, I put out some ant bait near one of the tomatoes. We disturbed an ant colony while planting, and they gave me a fit.
We have a lot of problems with critters. So, surrounding the garden is a fence made of rebar. I get this from Home Depot, and it is fencing that requires hardly any fence posts. It is actually used to reinforce concrete, but I learned a long time ago that it is rigid and will stand up like a fence with little effort. I connected the pieces with wire.
You see, most of us in our backyards are not trying to fence out cattle. We just want to deter deer and small animals. Rebar can be used to stop deer from walking into your garden, but it alone will not stop a rabbit. And that is my second possible problem.
So I purchased some bird netting and stretched it around the perimeter using the rebar as a form making sure I secured it at the bottom and top. If I later have trouble with animals coming in through the very top, such as squirrels or birds, I can stretch the bird netting up there, too. I’ll let you know how it works.
I’ll let you know how it works. Like my rows, the fencing isn’t that straight either; but if it does the job, I’ll be happy.
I planted on a very overcast day with rain expected overnight. I didn’t want to plant my ? seedlings and transplants on a hot sunny day, so I had been watching my weather for a week looking for the perfect day to plant.
Also, I mulched with pine straw and banked the straw around the new delicate plants, using the straw for some added shade and protection.
Stay tuned. I’ll let you know how it’s going in another couple of weeks.
Do you have any special techniques you use to plant your vegetable garden? Do you use any other type of fencing that may be easier? Please share!