I am inter-planting onion with my tomatoes and peppers. Some of my reading has suggested that this will enhance the flavor of each.
The lettuce is coming in, but the celery did not. The carrots are coming in, but the spinach is not. The Sugar Snaps are doing great but neither the tomato nor the pepper plant came up. The lettuce came in really well so I thinned by transplanting a dozen or so to where I had planted the celery. I bought a few tomato and pepper plants a week ago and planted them. They are doing well and I look forward to eating them. The watermelons have sprouted.
I weeded my gardens today. It's so much easier to do when the dirt has never been stepped on.
I have taken to a strange practice with my rain barrel. I grow catnip in it. Maybe none of the reasons I do it are any good but here they are anyway. First, because I can. Catnip grows very easily and quickly puts out roots in water. Secondly, I have found the water, if left to it's self, will start to smell bad. With a plant growing in it that usually goes away. I suspect that the catnip feeds off bird droppings and other dead plant life such as algae that sometimes grows.. Thirdly, I found that catnip is a pretty good deterrent to ants. If I can water with a natural ant deterrent then I will. I'll never forget the nightmare of stepping onto the walkway of my garden to find that it woke up the colony. I've since planted some catnip in that spot and I haven't had trouble since, but spreading the love around is OK with me.
Maybe I'm just crazy but I feel like this helps.
I planted a few seeds this evening. In Garden #1 I planted a square each of spinach and carrots next to the garlic.
In Garden #2 I planted lettuce, celery, sugar snaps, watermelon, Old German tomato and bell pepper. I was careful to not plant the tomato and pepper too close to where I had the tomatoes last year. The watermelon seeds are left over from the watermelon that grew last year.
I forgot to update on the rain barrel. It works quite well for me. The gutter system captures less than a quarter of my roof area but even an inch of rain fills the barrel. I think I have space to add an additional barrel if I could find one on the cheap.
Since a rabbit decided to eat all of the tomato and pepper plants that I planted I purchased replacements this weekend. I took the opportunity to also do a few up-keeping things I meant to do already.
I purchased four more landscape timbers to increase the depth that I'm capable of in Garden #2. To keep rabbits out I used 48″ rebar rods to anchor each corner, sinking each 12″ into the ground. Attached to the rods I have surrounded the plot with the same metal fencing I used to build the compost bin.
I planted all of the plants that I had growing in the seed tray. Well, the ones that survived anyway. The tomatoes and peppers look like they are going to do really well.
I'm excited about my fruits this year. All except for one raspberry plant is doing really well so I should have a decent crop this year and a great crop next year. All of the blueberries look good and are flowering. The scuppernong vine has started to break out in leaves. I'm very happy to have my grape vine. I hadn't really expected to get one this year, much less one this large. If you haven't had the please of having a scupperong grape I highly suggest you try to find some this year. The seeds and tougher skins make them harder to just munch on like other grapes but it's worth it. They're like eating hot wings, after eating a bowl of them you're hands and face may be covered in juices and it will be totally worth it.
I haven't quite kept up with my calendar. I still need to seed the muskmelon and eggplant. Also, it looks like I won't have nearly as many tobacco plants as I had hoped. I'll try to seed a few more this year, but I don't expect to have very many.
I purchased a planting tray to start my seeds in. This tray has 72 cells for starting seeds in. The cells are open to the main tray in the bottom so that water can flow freely throughout. As you can see, when water is added the pods expand. I have seeded several plants. I am following the directions for the tray (which includes a clear plastic cover) and am placing it in a warm place, out of direct sunlight.
I labeled each column and row so that I can keep track of what is growing where. For instance:
A1, A2, B1 Bell Pepper
C1,C2, B2, D1 Cranberry Bean
B3-B6 Black-eye Peas
A3-A6 Black Mexican Corn
C3-C6 Lemon Balm
D2-D6 Greek Oregano
H3-H6 Sugar Snaps
H1, H2, I1-I4 Old German Tomato
I5, I6, J6 Sweet Pepper
J1-J5, K6 Carrot
K1-K5 Tennessee Red Corn
L4-L6 Cayenne Pepper