Setting Up The Garden
Towards the end of May, we started planting our little garden. Normally we plant in this quarter acre section, but with M3 being in EMT class this summer, we decided to do a tiny garden in the berry patch. We fenced out the chickens, who grumbled greatly at being excluded.
We planted strawberries and raspberries (thanks M&R) in this place last year. This year we added blueberries (thanks J&D&N). Our soil is too basic for blueberries, so we added this brightly colored stuff from a plastic bag that should acidify the soil enough to please the blueberries. First, we planted several tomatoes in planters and placed them up against the rock wall. We had a few nights where we flipped this tarp over them to keep the frost over and this has worked really well. M3 bought this fancy Montreal tomato that was created for the short Canadian growing season. Poor thing couldn’t take the full NM sun, so M3 put this white T-shirt screen on the tomato cage. Little plant perked up within a day.
We also decided to do a potato bucket this year. Yep, we took a plastic trashcan and placed it in servitude to the All Mighty Potato! Take any tub you like, or exceptionally strong large canvas bag. then make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom. Throw in some soil and some questionable potatoes, cover with soil and water. Then allow your potatoes to grow. Once the stems have reached, 4-6 inches tall, cover with more soil so that only ~2 inches of green is sticking out. The potatoes continue to grow and that green stem you covered with soil turns into roots which grow more potatoes. Basically, repeat this all summer until fall. Then simply tip the bucket over and collect pounds of potatoes.
We finally planted the garlic! I know. It’s suppose to be planted in October and harvested in July. Last September, we bought fancy red garlic, 3 types, to plant. I also set aside some garlic I had from the neighbor (thanks B&C). Then I badly injured the blasted ankle in October. So, months and months later, I’m planting my veggie garden and figured, What the Hell, plant the damn garlic. I had left it in a box in the sunroom and it was getting pretty odoriferous. More of it came up than I expected. I plan to let it sit in the ground until I get significant garlic scapes or October – whichever happens first.
We also planted some squash that I had started inside. They seemed pretty miffed about being exiled to the great outdoors, but I think most of them will make it. We also planted gourd seeds, minipumpkin seeds, 2 types of winter squash, beans, peas, carrots, and onions. My parents gave me a lot of seeds as they won’t be planting a garden this year with their slow move from one house to another. Some of the seeds were pretty old….think 1990s. So, we’ll see if any of those seeds come up.
My parents gave us a 420 gallon water tank that had been kicking around their place for a few years. When it is our turn for the irrigation water, we use the small pump to fill it. Then, since it is placed higher than the garden, we simply attach a house and let gravity water our little garden. The tank holds enough water to keep the garden happy in between our irrigation days.