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Garden Update #2: Garden Graffiti

Posted by kevinwolz on May 25, 2010

IT’S SO HOT OUT. We hit a record high today: 94 degrees, three degrees above the previous fifty-year-old record. But that’s not the end of it…we’re likely to break the 90’s and break records most days this week! Consequently, I decided to scrap everything I read in the garden books and transplant all the warm season crops two weeks early; I think the “last frost date” stats need to be updated. Remember what I said about earlier seasons?

I got up early this morning to beat the worst of the heat and finally finish planting just about everything in the garden. The tomato and pepper transplants I bought from Seed Savers arrived just on time a few days ago (pre-hardened off), so those were the first to go in the ground. There are six of each, with each plant a different heirloom variety! I think each tomato plant will have a different color fruit!

Pepper Varieties: Jimmy Nardello’s, Buran, Orange Bell, Tolli’s Sweet Italian, King of the North, Wenk’s Yellow Hots (only hot variety)

Tomato Varieties: Cherokee Purple, Amish Paste, German Pink, Gold Medal, Velvet Red, Brandywine-Sudduth’s Strain

I also transplanted the 15 or so Wisconsin Lake’s peppers that my parents started at home over a month ago and the few Yellow Banana peppers that I bought at the FM last week. Quite the variety of peppers! Next, I planted the third row of sweet corn in the Three Sisters section (I’ve been planting a row per week to spread out the harvest), as well as the pole beans and pumpkin in the first row (supposed to be done once the corn is 4 inches tall, which it is). A bunch of onion sets went in amongst the Brassicas and swiss chard, and dill went in between just about everything! I absolutely love dill and am planting it wherever there seems to be a small gap in the garden. I plan on drying most of it for use over the next year at school. Finally, I randomly transplanted a few eggplants, which will be an experiment.

Established plants in the garden are also doing very well. The kohlrabi is growing particularly fast, and the “ball” can already be seen on some. Beet and swiss chard seedlings are up a few inches, the radishes have several true leaves each, and the marigolds are ready to flower in full force. The corn came up really quickly in the heat of the last few days, but I did have to replant a few that didn’t germinate. I’m not to sure about the carrots: I planted them all down the middle of one of the Brassica beds, but I don’t really know what their cotyledons look like, so I’m not sure if they’re up yet. Consequently, I’m refraining from weeding that bed until I can get a positive identification.

Elsewhere on our property, I transplanted a bunch of winter squash, cucumbers, strawberries, a watermelon, and an apple tree! This area is next to our house, but receives full sun and completely mulched with rocks. All of those plants sprawl, so my hope is that by digging down and removing the rock in a small area to plant, they will then spread all over the otherwise unusable area of rocks.

Unfortunately, I decided to break down and put up a fence. I thought I could get by without one until the plants got big enough, but I had noticed quite a few rabbit wounds around the garden (especially the parsley). The fence is a two-foot plastic mesh and was relatively easy to put up with my parents. The nice thing is that we only had to do three sides since one side is bounded by a rock wall and three-foot drop off.

To top it all off, I rearranged the fence and wood windbreaks a bit…taking advantage of the “billboard” in perfect view of all boaters on the lake. Spread the word!

Here a few more pictures of the garden as it stands currently.

UPDATED

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3 Responses to “Garden Update #2: Garden Graffiti”

  1. Joan said

    Kevin,
    I can’t wait to see your garden in full swing. I have a great recipe for swiss chard frittata. I hope the squash you planted with your corn is pumpkin pie squash.
    Really interesting about the Three Sisters!
    Loved your poster, but I think you should have painted the letters in
    black.

  2. Alex said

    Yeah, we’re noticing ridiculous highs down here as well. Somehow I don’t think God (or whatever you so believe in) intended for summer to come about a month early. By the way, what exactly does your sign say? I have a good guess from seeing most of it in that picture, but I was wondering if you had put anything else up there.

  3. Roger said

    Kevin, it was great looking at your plant choices I have grown so many of them. Carrot seed leaves are narrow. I agree the sign is hard to read maybe it’s better in person. Rog

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