Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Instant" Garden

I love transplants. I particularly love filling the garden in with transplants. One minute you have freshly tilled earth, the next….garden…”instant” garden!

Wait a minute….NOT so fast! “Instant” garden is actually impossible. But, please allow me to explain.

Long before the garden looked like…well, a garden…a whole lot had to take place.

Back in December, Tom and I sat down and planned the entire planting year. Being cautiously optimistic, we planned all the planting dates with great care. I then backtracked and decided when I needed to start the seeds in the greenhouse in order to have the transplants ready in time. The seeds were ordered, received and cataloged. With great diligence, the calendar was checked, marked and the seeds started accordingly.

Once the seeds were started, their care began. We always have to be on our guard for the errant mouse that finds its way into the greenhouse during the winter and finds the seeds irresistible for feasting. Occasionally, there is some issue with the germination as well, although this year the seeds seemed to be exceptionally fertile. Keeping the plants watered and growing well is crucial while they are in the greenhouse.

The plants grew out well. They were actually ready for planting last week. Other priority jobs had to get done, so the squash and cucumbers spent an extra week in the green house. That didn’t hurt them. They spent some of that time “hardening off” in the backyard. This gives them some strength to stand up to the wind once planted out.

Tom tilled and placed the irrigation line (otherwise known as “t-tape”). I fertilized and “plunked the plants”. While Tom began the “harvesting” of the SUPER MULCH, I filled the dirt in around the baby plants.
(Super Mulch will someday get the notoriety it deserves with its own blog entry!) Once the plants were mulched in, we were ready for lunch.

After lunch, Tom checked and repaired the t-tape and got the irrigation system up and running. The plants were watered in and will now begin their growing time in the garden. At this point, we are about 6 weeks from the first squash of the season. If the weather holds, it may be less time. Fresh cucumbers will join the food line-up at that point as well.

Can’t wait!

Gotta find those summer recipes…

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