One of the largest garden related tasks that I set out to finish this week was to finally plant (and transplant) the summer cut flower and vegetable gardens. As much as I would love to separate the two, I simply don’t have the space. The resulting garden is quite the hodge podge of plants. It’s important to note here that I totally DO NOT recommend planting the two different garden together, as many cut flower plants are toxic. This is definitely one of the reasons I’m always talking about being sure to keep your kids, pets, and everyone you love safe. Safety first!
Even though the garden is relatively small (about 30’x30′ if I’m roughly estimating); the process of working the soil, amending it, laying down landscape fabric, transplanting, and direct sowing can be extremely time consuming. In total, the whole process took about three days worth of work. I honestly started working with the intention of showing the whole thing from start to finish. However, it soon became clear that that would be pretty time consuming and difficult working alone.
Amending the garden beds is one of the most important aspects to a successful growing season. It’s truly a multi-season process. In fall, I made sure to add a nice layer or leaves to the garden beds. In the early spring, I refreshed the beds again by adding in some really nice compost. At planting time, I added seabird guano pellets. I’ll likely fertilize again with the guano pellets in the middle of the season when things first start to bloom. I like this fertilizer, specifically, because it is safe for use on both flowers and vegetables. Additionally, it has high nitrogen and phosphorus numbers. Always make sure that the fertilizer you choose is safe for use on food. Always read the instructions carefully!
I starting planting out my direct sow beds first. I like to get this task out of the way before transplanting, as doing tons of crawling around on the ground always manages to leave me feeling quite sore. Above are some sorghum seeds that have been direct sown. Since I don’t have much space I sow the seeds very thickly. In general, the plants don’t seem to be bothered by the crowding much, as long as there are adequate nutrients available.
Hopi Blue Flour Corn was also direct sown. I know that it’s a space hog, and that most people avoid it – but, I love growing corn. There’s just something about growing corn that makes it feel like summertime. I planted these seeds with about a nine inch spacing. It will be interesting to see how many of these seedlings pop-up, as I’ve already spotted the cardinal birds in the garden bed digging around and eating seeds. One cardinal in particular had practically zero feathers left on his face. I’ve never seen a half-bald cardinal before, so I let him eat as much as he wanted. Lol. I Googled it, and it turns out that it was likely the result of an unusual molting pattern. I swear, I learn something new every day.
The winter sown tomatoes actually look pretty good. These plants got a pretty late start, and the weather conditions in which they grew were absolute garbage. The combination of rain and cold did not make for the most successful tomatoes and peppers that I’ve ever winter sown, but I’m fairly certain these will grow into robust tomato-makers soon!
I’m planting zucchini again this year. Maybe I’ll actually pick some this time and use them in the kitchen! Last year, the plants were quickly overgrown by other plants and forgotten about. Definitely one of the down sides to a garden planted so intensively that things get “lost”.
Woohoo! Look at the size of the petunias that I’m planting in the garden! These were grown from seed using the winter sowing method. I had no idea that it was so easy to grow your own petunias!