Friday, May 31, 2013

Summertime, and the living is easy... well, not if you procrastinate!

So, summer is officially here in the mountains and we are NOT even close to being where we should be.  No seeds in the ground, no watering system in.  You'd think we were novices. 
WELL, WE ARE!  Up in the mountains, anyways.  In the Phoenix area, I'd have had my garden in by February and been eating the lettuces and onions by now.  Here, I fell flat. 

Am soooo far behind that we don't need the cloth on the hoops, so am breaking nails (sob!) and prying off the holders to get them put away.  Steve caught me unawares, so thank goodness you can't hear what I'm saying.

I'll use the cloth in the fall to see if I can extend the growing season.  I got some seeds in quickly, so I may have something showing in 7-10 days.  We'll see.  Off to the right in the picture is an experiment where I tried to see if the seeds would sprout quicker.  Used some weed blocking cloth over the seeds.  Down in the valley it would bake the ground, but it's daily still in the 60-70's here. 

Without the garden cloth on the hoops they seem all light and airy.  They are fairly easy for me to lift to work the soil and plant.  I took the easy way out here and bought some plants in Show Low.  I know, was going to do this by seeds, but waaaay too late this first year.  I had hoped to have a greenhouse, too, so I could have my seedlings ready, but that hope went sideways and never got planned out. 
Next year!!!   Steve isn't usually in the garden with me, so he "invented" these nifty little bars to hold open the hoops. Some left over conduit with bent garden staples (type used to hold down weed control cloth). 

Now, I can work without constantly calling for help.  He LOVES that!!!
I finally got most of my plants in and hooked up a seeping water system to keep them hydrated.  It worked really well.  It also caused some problems that we had no idea we'd have to deal with.

Here is one of the garden beds.  Just passed the middle of the bed, towards the shed, I hope you can see the sinking area (still water standing there) that we developed.  Seems when we bought the second acreage, there were 23 septic testing holes that were filled in by the sellers.  One must be under the garden bed and, with all the watering, it has sunk.  Those holes were 20 feet deep.  I'm filling in the areas as they sink, but I don't have THAT much extra dirt.  I'm afraid to add too much dirt as there are seeds there now.  So, not sure what to do there. 
I'm hoping the other bed is safe.

Looked up what natural things would get my tomato plants off to a good start.  Generally, found that keeping chemicals away is best for us.  So, here is the most suggested idea.  Garlic cloves, coffee grounds (used and cool) and crushed egg shells.  Heck, if my compost scraps can work here, more power to them.  Worked all this into a small trench around tomatoes.       
Added the expensive cut worm protector (cut cottage cheese container ring). 
  Will have great story, if this works....

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