If you missed my first Handpicked post, you can get caught up HERE.
Well, I took a bajillion pictures of my Welch’s Harvest Garden win, so that I could show you all that I got from it. The only problem is that they’re on the OTHER computer…the dead one. One of these days I’ll scurry it off to Best Buy and pay them to retrieve my data…which wasn’t backed up. Don’t. say. anything. That’s precisely why I haven’t gone yet. ;) Suffice it to say, it was a neat package of supplies. It contained a circular garden bed that we’re using for strawberries, plastic trays, tags, small composter, several packets of seeds, 6 full size bags of Miracle Gro potting soil, and several high quality gardening tools. It really was a nice win, and one I couldn’t be more thrilled to have received.
After spending a decent amount of time ooohing and aaahing over our goodies, we became very ambitious about starting our seeds. Since we had a wealth of them, we knew we’d have to find some alternative to starting them in the basement or our neighbors would finally have concrete proof of our insanity. We decided to move our project to the 3 car garage. Half of the single car space housed our seeds and lights/natural light. The other half was/is consumed by the vintage tractor. And really, don’t get any preconceived notions about the 3 car garage. We do NOT eat money for lunch. Not. even. close. As a matter of fact, the garage may well be approximately half the size of the house…hmmm, maybe more?!? :/ Back on topic, my plans to cover them individually with ziploc baggies to greenhouse them quickly went by the wayside with so many trays. We opted to mist them and then loosely cover them with sheets of plastic wrap. That worked incredibly well. In mid-May, we moved the seeds outside on table tops, so that they wouldn’t be harmed by any residual frost and prepare them for their new home.
By Memorial Day weekend, we were ready to start planting. We prepared our 5 beds with a mixture of vermicompost (worm casting) and Miracle Gro. As of right now, we have bean stalks fit for Jack to climb. If poor Jack had any friends, they could come along and climb the tomato plants, corn stalks or anything else we’ve got going out there. With the way this day is going, I think I may suggest this notion to my children.
So, for the record, we’ve got zucchini, broccoli, yellow squash, corn, strawberries, rhubarb, tomatoes, carrots, onions, green beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, bush beans and radishes…really, I think my husband just wants to grow them because he can grow anything. Blech.
Also, as you may recall, I had high hopes for an embedded educational opportunity for my son in all of this. I had lofty visions of incorporating discussions of the American Indians, our Cherokee ancestry, and our companion (Three Sisters) planting adventure. He was less than interested. Thankfully, he’s signed up for all kinds of projects this summer to further his intellectual growth. Pfft…And so, my attentive friends, the Three Sisters planting method makes use of the symbiotic relationship between corn, beans and squash. The corn stalks provide a wonderful support for the climbing beans. The beans don’t compete with the corn for nutrients since legumes supply their own nitrogen. And the lowly squash provides a nice ground cover to prevent the soil from overheating, drying, and it also crowds out weeds! Weed is a four letter word around my house! Aargh! In all seriousness, this is a lost planting art form (commercially) with the advent of mechanical harvesters. However, it remains very useful knowledge for the home gardener. It makes excellent use of limited space and provides a wonderful yield. If you haven’t done it yourself, I highly recommend it.
There you have it – my garden update. Next up, and by next up I mean next week, I’ll be showing you how to construct your own rain barrel on the cheap.