Okay, what we've all been waiting for, me included.
Garden, 2009 summer edition.
Well last year i did not have the heart to post pictures of the flood plane it became after my bright idea to dig the ground up and take most of the earth out and create a big hole in the yard and call it a garden. Funny how that can cause a place to collect water and not drain well. And then, guess what. Well, a weed jungle took over and with my limited time I was not able to vanquish the weeds in the 15 x 14 area. It seemed like every day when I would weed for an hour, I would go back out and the area I had not weeded would have grown over.
Then it rained for two weeks straight, and I could not weed, and the rain beat my plants to death, and the weeds took over, and I was done.
But, look on the bright side. It's a new dawn, a new day. I have new ideas this year. I have a new plan. Live and learn. Take a lick and keep on ticking. So this is how we started.
#1: fill the low spots back in with dirt. We did that.
#2: While waiting for planting, keep weeds from growing. Plan for this was to put weed-stop plastic over the garden, as a preventive measure. Gardening books, sites, and the manufacturer of the plastic assured me that if we put this plastic down, and used stakes to secure it, it would a) prevent any weeds from growing b/c they couldn't grow high enough, and b) create so much heat they would die.
Well, behold the results of the use of "Weed-Stop" plastic:
As you can see, the weeds have grown so profusely under this covering that they are actually spilling out between the overlapped sections. Furthermore, they are lifting up the plastic itself. Finally, you can't see this, but they are pulling up the stakes used to secure the plastic.
I pulled the plastic up when it got around time to plant, to find this disappointment:
Basically a garden of weeds! yay! So, first things, first, a plan for these weeds. My dad's suggestion was to get out the hoe and start weeding. I, however, knew that there was no time in my schedule for a weeding assignment of these proportions. I went to the Lowe's and looked into their weed solutions. They have two: one is called Preen, and is granules you can put into your veggie garden once your plants are already established and growing. That's because it prevents weeds (and other plants) from growing.
The other solution is RoundUp. You can spray it on live plants and it kills them - to the root system - in a week. It says it is safe to use in vegetable gardens b/c it only kills the plant you spray it on. What about poisoning soil you have not planted yet, though? I asked the garden center guys, and they said wait a good three weeks before planting. So, here's what the weeds looked like three weeks after I sprayed them with RoundUp:
Take a goooooood look at that. Now isn't that pretty? Heck yeah, RoundUp. Forget you, Weed-Stop plastic. RoundUp has a pleasant coconut smell that reminds me of sunscreen at the beach.
So, today was planting day! I did not start seeds indoors this year. No way. I waited and bought plants at the store for transplanting, and did seeds straight into the ground for the rest.
We carefully planned out how we would plant the garden in rows, etc. by using vines to represent rows, and putting the seed packets at the end, as you can see:
Here are some of the transplanted plants:
That's a row of tomatoes, and off to the right are two bell peppers (red and orange). The tomatoes are a big heirloom yellow one called Mr. Stripey, a Big Bush hybrid, and a cherry tomato. The farthest plant is a jalapeno pepper plant. Mr. Stripey is below, pre-transplant:
I kept a few plants in containers. One of them is a tomato plant, b/c I cannot live without tomatoes and I want to be on the safe side. This tomato plant is called "Early Girl" and it bears fruit much earlier than the others, a month earlier. In the other two pots are dill, and cilantro, the two herbs which infect everything around them - so I figured they would be good candidates for containers. The cilantro was a transplant but the dill is seeds.
I planted other herbs in the garden, though. There are three herb plants at the end of the lettuce rows: a tarragon plant, a rosemary plant, and a lavendar plant:
They mark rows of leaf lettuce (bibb lettuce), mesclun greens, and arugula, and then there is an unmarked row of sorrel (a spicy lemony green).
Here is the entire garden in its present glory:
In addition to the lettuces, tomatoes, and peppers, there are the herbs mentioned, as well as a row of zucchini, bush beans, sugar snap peas, and two rows of basil.