My spring garden for 2016 begins with easy bag gardening. I bought four 40 pound bags of garden soil and arranged them in a squares. I left a strip across the centers when I cut the top off in order to support the sides of the large bags. But I did not like that as the strip was in the way of my planting. So I cut it off and supported the sides with old posts from a wood pile. So the sides of my raised garden is already in place next spring when I pull the plastic bags out!
On April 10th I planted sweet peas, lettuce, radishes, and onion seeds. I watered with a fine spray every day for a week. By the 17th, the lettuce and radishes sprouts were peeking through the soil. We finally got a rain on that day. A piece of wire fencing is over the peas which are up by the 20th. I planted onions from seed.
I also put in a bed of potatoes. This is a bed set against the back barbed wire fence that borders the hay field of the farm behind my property. I turned the soil and pushed the cut Yukon Gold potato pieces about a half inch into the soil. Then I covered them with about 6 inches of straw. After the potatoes sprouted, I added 6 more inches.
I have an old wheelbarrow, left, filled with soil into which I put 2 cabbage transplants, 2 broccoli plants, and 2 lettuce. I water by hand every day. This is necessary with container gardens. The photo on the right was taken after a storm that dumped 5 inches of rain overnight. Apparently, the cabbage liked it.
The peppers in the pots on the left are sweet bell, hot jalapeno, and fake jalapeno which has the taste but no heat.
Below, on the right, is a large tub with a single tomato plant.
On this day, April 17, I bought 4 more 40 pound bags of soil and made another bed identical to the first. In this one will go my summer okra. Yes, in all 4 bags. I love okra.
I cleared a space for a keyhole garden. My husband and I looked at photos of keyholes and decided we did not want to build a tall one at this time. Our plans are to put one layer of cinder blocks and rocks of that same size around the perimeter, layer newspaper on the bottom, add twigs and wood chips on that then fill it with good soil.
The photo on the top left shows the outline of the garden.
The compost container in the center of the garden, top, right photo, is wire fencing, rolled into a 12 inch diameter tube two layers thick. A piece of flexible plastic was inserted between the layers of the wire walls (bottom right photo) to keep the water from running onto the keyhole walkway. The soil is now in place, (bottom left photo) sloped from the compost bin to the near the top of the wall for good drainage. All watering will be done through this structure, both feeding and watering the garden.
More bags; this time I purchased a different brand which was in a more compact bag. This made the beds shorter, but the soil deeper. I left a strip across the center. Half a bag was just right for an eggplant. The bags at the top of the photo have tomatoes and peppers. I laid down plastic trash bags between the beds and covered then with mulch.
The potatoes are up and thriving. The keyhole garden is fully planted. Turnips, white radishes and corn are up. Okra is growing. All the herbs in pots have sprouted.
July 1: My first tomato.
We received 5 inches of rain over the Independence Day weekend. I didn't like it so much, but the garden did. Cherry tomatoes and pepper plants are lush.
The okra is only 12 inches tall, but already putting on little pods.
This is the bed that contained the spring vegetables. After harvesting I planted beans. They popped up just a few days after planting.
The corn is tasseling and I have been harvesting zucchini. The butternut and patty pan squash are blooming.
There are tiny pumpkins beneath the blossoms.
The potatoes are harvested. If I can find seed potatoes I have time for another crop.