Sunday, July 29, 2012

End of July Garden Chores

Although I spent several hours working in the garden yesterday, there was still quite a bit to do today.  Here are a few of today's garden chores:
  • I turned the compost.   I do this by pulling Geoffrey's stakes out of the ground, carefully pulling  him up over the compost and moving him over a few feet.  Then I use a garden fork to scoop all the compost back into Geoffrey, only upside down, so the newer stuff goes on the bottom and the older stuff ends up at the top.  This took about an hour today, because there is a lot of compost.  The older stuff is decomposing pretty nicely, although there are a few twigs and other larger pieces that still haven't broken down.
Geoffrey, before turning
  • Transplanted a few plants that weren't doing well in their current locations.  A few weeks ago I stopped by a nursery and picked up a few plants (two bell peppers and an eggplant) that were on sale because it was really late in the season for buying transplants.  I figured they probably didn't have a great chance of survival but they were cheap so I decided to take my chances.  At that time, the zucchini and squash were mammoth so there was no room in the veggie plot for them, so I planted the peppers in pots.  One of the bell peppers was doing okay as was the eggplant, but the other bell pepper is withering away.  Since I had cleared up a lot of space in the plot by removing the zucchini plant, I decided to move the dying bell pepper to the veggie plot to see if that might save it. I turned the soil with my garden fork and added some fertilizer and manure, moved the pepper and sprayed it with some fish fertilizer.  I also moved another pepper from a pot to the other side of the veggie plot, because it wasn't growing well in the pot.
  • Planted some onions and carrots.  Since there was plenty of room around the newly transplanted pepper plant, I sewed several onion sets and carrot seeds.  So far none of the carrots I've tried to plant have come up - either they never germinated or they never grew bigger than a few centimeters.  But, I'm going to keep trying until I get it right. 
  • Harvested four hot peppers and two small onions.  My last attempt at harvesting onions produced a handful of tiny, stunted specimens, which I decided to call "red scallions."  

This time, I got two slightly larger onions, which gave me a bit more hope for the next set of onions I just planted.  I also planted a few more onion sets in the area where I harvested the two onions.
  • Watered the tomato pots with water from the rain barrel.  After a long dry spell, we are finally getting some rain these past couple of weeks.  So I've been able to use the water from the rain barrel quite a few times.  Since it's situated right at the end of tomorrow pot alley, I like to use it to water those pots. 

I've developed a system now using two alternating watering cans - I let one fill up while I'm using the other to water the pots and then I switch back and forth.  That way, I don't have to keep turning the rain barrel spigot on and off when I fill up the watering can.
However, only three beans have come up out of about the 12-15 seeds I planted.  I realized today when I looked more closely, that the pot was extremely water logged.  Evidently, there weren't enough holes drilled in the bottom for the water to drain properly.  When I tipped the pot over, a huge amount of water came pouring out the top and down my driveway.  I brought out my drill and drilled some more holes in the bottom (which is tricky to do with a huge pot filled with wet soil and bean seedlings that you don't want to kill).  I don't know if the seedlings will survive.  I planted a few more bean seeds for good measure, although it may be too late in the season to start beans.

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