Two Month Raised Bed Garden Update
Well, I thought I would share another progress report with all of you. If you budding gardeners are eager to see what is possible, maybe my quarterly review will help?
Okay. So we started early…This has seemed like a chilly year, more so than prior ones, at least for the Southeast. Right now we’re closing in on the first day of May and still having nights in the 40s. This is usually a hot month, so I’m surprised. Sometimes around the second week, I am cranking on the AC, lol. As a side note, we were prepared to blanket our planted seed beds if the 38 degree F mark was hit. They can withstand 40s, though.
We started to get new topsoil late in February to “top off” the first bed that had settled in the wintertime. The first crops we planted (from seed) was a series of microgreens, which are pretty expedient. They started to sprout early, too – but it looks like the growth has stalled. The weather here is very changeable, so it could be a matter of adjustment.I remember seeing a bumblebee zooming by the last day of February and thinking “Spring is here already?”…But then, boom – a week later, here comes a chilly snap. Alongside the microgreens, we also planted radish seeds (both heirloom, too, by the way, which are the best kind to get.) Recently I think I saw a little movement with that.
Also in the first bed, (around the start of April) we planted tomatoes and chili peppers, each on their respective side. These were plants, not seeds. We got a good deal on about 10-12 of them from a family-run nursery nearby.
During the second week of April, we started work on the second bed and topped if off with new soil. In this one, we planted seed potatoes – (this is going to be interesting, I’m sure) turnips (seeds) and zipper peas. Some gardeners like to follow the “Square foot” approach, which is a good idea with crops that will spread out a good deal, like tomatoes, but for root crops and those that don’t get very large, we did a vertical sowing approach. The seed potatoes were spaced out about a foot from each other however. You can see the pattern we used here:
During the third week in April, (upon John’s insistence) I planted okra seeds in between teh tomato/pepper bed center. I haven’t attempted to grow okra in about 5 years, so I’m curious what this will lead to. The okra seeds, (also heirloom) were soaked overnight in a small dish of water to moisturize them prior to planting. I planted the okra seeds about 8″ apart. I don’t use a dibber or anything, just my finger or an old turning rod from a set of blinds I normally didn’t need anymore. Works just as well.
I started to add fertilizer during week 3 in April…I use a tablespoon of Micracle-Gro to a gallon of water and apply to each bed after the second week of being planted.I used a milk container for this, but I think I am going to drill some holes in the cap so I can “sprinkle” it on, which is better than pouring.
There were a few plants leftover from the batch, that i ended up planting in containers (I save 5-gallon buckets, including the ones my my cats’ litter comes in, just for this purpose – it doesn’t hurt to diversify a little.)
I forgot what was in the third bed. Sorry. We do have a few chili peppers on the very end, that were an “odd number” after running out of space on the first two. I think it’s a cayenne. Last week, I spotted the first “debut” pepper….yay! and trimmed it. If a plant produces fruit too early in the game it could stunt its growth, so best to catch the juveniles and trim them off.
We’ve got seed starters….onions and a few other things, I forgot what., sorry.
I had a parsley and a c….both have died. unfortunately. I have always had a tough time with both of these.
Next goals: Will probably be replacing the mesh weed barrier with a new one, this was not a good material as some weeds have been sneaking onto the paths. The worst is the dandelions. We got a new roll recently made of a much stronger material.
I notice some of the leaves on the pepper plants is a tad yellow. I’m not sure if they’ve had a little bit of transplant shock, or the changing weather, or if we need to add a little more additives to the soil.
Well, that’s my recap. Hope to update again real soon! Now about you, do you have any reports of your own? If so, please share.