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Garden Status: Memorial Day Weekend

May 24, 2009

Garden May 24 009 (4)

So far, so good. Pole beans and bush beans are up, still waiting on fava beans. Salad and pickling cukes are up; so’s the lettuce. The summer squash (Costata Romanesca) is up and planning world domination, as all good summer squash will. The peppers are still marginal, and most of the tomatoes are looking less than thrilled. Luckily, Morningside Farm has tomato plants, so I picked up a half-dozen each of three varieties and planted them this weekend. I’m bummed about not getting our own Cherokee Purples this year, but such is the life of a gardener. You win some, you lose some.

I have to say, the germination rate with the seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange is great, way higher than we had even hoped for. We’re planning to try some seed-saving with our heirloom varieties this year (shh! don’t tell Big Ag!), but we’ll definitely purchase any additional seeds from them next year. And I’ll even try to actually have the garden prepped in the late fall, like I had wanted. This whole mad dash to get seeds in? Not fun.

Oh, and we’re going to try building a potato bin, as shown here. It looks like it should be pretty easy to build, and I love the idea of using the boxes as massive sheet mulch as well. Of course there will be pictures, as well as an honest assessment of how it works.

The rabbit fence seems to be doing its job, although I feel kind of bad. Our next door neighbors saw what we did, and decided to fortify their yard against the lop-eared locusts as well. I was talking to Neighbor Jeff today, who lives one more house down, and he mentioned that his property has become quite popular with the little bunnies. Oops, sorry. If it’s any consolation, I know where to buy rabbit fencing in quantity.

Speaking of sources, we also planted some containers. I went to Lowes for potting soil, and bought the only one I could find that didn’t contain Miracle-Gro or any other fertilizers. Let me just say, it is utter garbage. Don’t waste your money, it compacted hard as a rock in a week, and Lowes should track down everyone who bought a bag and give them their money back. And bake them a pie. It’s that bad. However, I discovered that CFC Farm & Home, the co-op on business 29 right across the street from Lowes, has a great price on the bales of Pro-Mix potting soil. It’s what the nurseries use, and it is beautiful stuff. If you’re doing containers or hanging baskets, I recommend you buy that. The heck with Lowes’s garden center!

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