Friday, April 02, 2010

Garden Beginnings for April

Ready to meet my new plant family? This is Easter weekend, so that means planting time at my house. I spent three hours this morning, shifting dirt from container to container, repotting, and planting.

The squash in a kiddie wading pool first - last year this didn't work. Not even ONE squash. But I kept the extra seeds in the freezer and I'm trying again. This time, better dirt instead of the topsoil I used before. I also poked some bigger holes in the bottom for drainage. I have five hills of five seeds planted. Last year, I thought I was being smart and tried to stagger the planting times, thinking I'd have squash early, squash late, and even end-of-summer squash. Instead, I think I might have not had enough blooming at one time to fertilize each other. I also had rabbit problems - this year, once they sprout, I'm doing the stinky kitty litter trick around the outside of the pool earlier -- after I did that last summer, I didn't see hide nor 'hare' of the rabbit for the rest of the season. :)

I enjoyed the produce from my sweet banana pepper plant so much last summer, I decided I'd have two this year. I'm planting them in better soil this year too, so I hope I don't get massively over peppered! Meet Banana One and Twin.

And about the CD's -- I'm always tempted to lie and say they're providing some esoteric nutrient to the soil, or they're providing reflected sunlight to the understory of the plants ... nope, they're just there for bird scare. When my tomatoes get 'caged' I use scissors to cut a slice thru the CD and put them on the cages, where the slightest breeze spins them back and forth and sets them flashing.

I haven't yet had a surplus of tomatoes in my little garden, so this year I bought still another container, plus more dirt, and I'm putting out a bunch. First, a Better Boy. Lookie, three little yellow tomato blooms! I had one of these last year, and it did really well:

Then I'm trying grape tomatoes for the first time. I often buy these at the supermarket, and spend $2.50 or so for a little plastic box of them. I'll try to keep some account of how many the plant produces, and see if I save anything.

Next, a Big Boy. I'm hoping this will produce some larger tomatoes I can slice and use on sandwiches. I used one of my big new plastic terracotta containers for this - it's a normal sized tomato plant, not one of the little container 'bushes,' so I'm slightly worried that it may be too much for a container. We'll see.

Here's another I've had in the past, a Husky Cherry Red. This was one of the varities that got me started in container gardening - it was so much fun going out every evening and picking a couple of cherry tomatoes for my salad. Juicy, round, and sweet, they were great. And they weren't prone to splitting either.

I have had this one too, and couldn't resist another. I'm not sure if this Early Girl will have the first ones ripe this summer since the Better Boy already has blooms, I'll have to wait and see.

Now, a group shot of my container garden - and if you look off to the left corner you can see my two window boxes with snowpeas. I planted the seeds for that last week. When I was planting everything else this morning, I was delighted to see that I now have tiny little green leaves poking out of the dirt. I didn't have any mulch on them though, so I re-covered the little shoots with some loose mulch when I was adding mulch to the tops of the tomato containers.


Nessa said...

That idea with the CD's is an excellent tip.

julieQ said...

I always love to see your garden, and thank you for the cd trick!

Ann said...

Got another tip for you...drill some holes in the pool along the bottom sides. Those drain better than holes in the very bottom.

怡芳 said...


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