Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 2, the garden receives plants.

Warm and windy out today, but pretty good weather for planting. The tomatoes were getting a droop each morning despite daily watering, so we figured it was time to get them in the ground.

My ma planted all thirty tomatoes on the south side of the garden, carefully inserting each into their holes, burying them quite deeply, (covering about 3 inches of stem), to brace them against the winds and encourage the plants to develop more roots. We bought the tomatoes from a local grower -- Ollin Farms, in Longmont, Colorado, and they're some of the strongest, healthiest plants I've ever seen! We bought four varieties, including a miniature which already has fruit! (We chose varieties based on a very short growing season).

As my ma was busily digging away, I was doing what I like to do best -- build things. In this case, I was constructing a backdrop for our beans to take the stage! (Ok, that was somewhat dramatic phrasing, however, our garden is poised to be dramatic this season!) All those years watching Time Team has paid off. (If you've never seen it, Time Team is a UK production featuring archeologists who explore ancient sites for three days at a time. They also demonstrate and de-code ancient building and other techniques, such as lathe work, jewelry making, casting, etc.)

In any case, I happened to remember a program whereby the inhabitants of a swampy district were creating bridges, even houses that were perched above the water atop poles... poles that had been driven into the ground with a large weight being pounded on their tops. The bottoms, it was discovered, were sharpened before being driven into the muddy soil beneath the waters.

Instead of 2 ft. diameter tree trunks, I found some 2 inch diameter trunks behind the shed. In lieu of a draw knife, I used my bandsaw to "sharpen" the ends of my poles, and used a hammer to pound them into the soil.

I found some wire fencing as well, and that will serve as the climbable "wall" that peas and beans need to thrive. Planted along our new construction: snow peas on the west side, and green beans on the east.

If you're wondering what all the flags are about -- well, they mark the lines of the soaker hoses -- so we don't accidentally puncture one!

In other news, I've discovered that the seed packets are lying! Apparently, bok choy seeds are supposed to germinate in 7-14 days. WELL, after three days, two have bravely emerged to greet the sunlight! (I can only credit our nifty indoor greenhouse, with it's high humidity and warmth-keeping abilities, for this early emergence!)

I was inspired to do a bit of turnery today -- check out my garden dibble above. Perfect for poking into the soil, the marks on the tool are spaced at half inches to gauge seed planting depth. (You can see I've used it already -- there's genuine Wyoming dirt on that handle!) Planting the bean/pea seeds was a breeze!