These beds are direct sown seeds rather than starter plants. I have one more long bed that will be for the peppers and tomato starts. The big square bed I moved will be for the sugar baby watermelon and honey dew melon starting plants and then there are 3 mounded beds for the 3 sisters garden. The melons and Corn plant starts are doing great in the starting boxes. I used larger pots for these plants and I can’t believe how fast they are growing! The tomatoes and peppers are taking a little longer in the big pots but I should have all the plants in the beds in a couple of weeks.
I’m trying out a lot of new seed crops in the 2 long beds. I have never tried growing parsnips, turnips, beets or leeks in these beds. I have added some radishes, several types of lettuce greens including one lettuce that is supposed to be slow to bolt in the heat. I added Nasturtiums to one bed for some pretty edible flowers for salads. The plan for these beds as the faster glowing crops finish up in mid summer I will have room to replace those areas with a fall harvest crop of Brussel Sprouts, broccoli, cabbages and cauliflower. I have never tried succession planting or trying to get 2 different crops from the same garden beds through the growing season so we will see how it works out.
The plastic fencing place on top of the garden beds seems to be working well at keeping the cats and the dog from digging in and pooing in the garden beds. The PVC pipe and plastic fence that blocks off the 3 sisters bed section has been built and installed. So far it is keeping the dog out of the beds and I have not seen any of the cats digging in the beds but I’m not sure how effective the fence will work long term against the cats.
I am using soaker hoses rather than a drip irrigation system and it took about 2 hours to get the bed a good deep soaking of water. This seems to work much better than a sprinkler system that would create puddles of water after a short time of watering rather than slowly water the soil with the soaker hose. If you go with a drip system that is great but if you want a faster/less wasted water for your garden beds I think soaker hoses are a good compromise.
I cleaned up the alley area and the Sun chokes are still growing. I want to add some Sunflowers and decorative grasses that will start crowding out some of the weeds and help break up some of the poor soil areas for more plants in the future. Finding ground cover plants that do all those things and be run over or parked on by cars or covered by a wood delivery occasionally is a challenge. I can plant some items that grow tall rather than spread out.
I’m watching the sales for garden items right now looking to buy for next year. I know I want more of the plastic fencing and PVC pipe along with all those angles and t- fixtures because it is so handy to put up a light weight barrier when you see the what is needed to protect your garden beds. Things like seeds, potting soil, plant markers, planting boxes or even kiddie polls you can use as raised beds might not be available to buy as we learned during last year via the Government response to the Covid. I know I sure did not see a fuel pipeline being “Hacked” and cutting off fuel supplies to a lot of the east coast. I have read that truckers won’t haul stuff into the east coast areas if there is no fuel for them. That will really screw up the supply chain for stores that do “Just in Time” Delivery or about 3 days worth of stock on hand.
Time to get creative boys and girls because supplies are limited and you need to repair, reuse and recycle more than ever, just to to keep a few more dollars in your pocket.