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Monday, June 15, 2015

They Badly Needed a Drink!

We planted our garden today. I know! It’s over a month late!

First there were thunder showers and other obligations taking our time away from getting our garden going.

Next, I said I wanted our garden boxes to be twice as high as they were. My back doesn’t like me to bend down too much these days. My husband groaned and moaned and bought wood and started making the frames higher.

A couple weeks later, before I could weigh in on my next bright idea, he bought bags of soil and filled up the lower two boxes.

“But I wanted those two stacked one on the other to reduce the total number we have!” I said. He groaned more loudly than before—almost a growl, but not quite.

To the rescue came my sister, who offered to bring us a truckload of steer and rabbit manure, well aged. She arrived later in the week with the terrible-smelling truck, and we emptied it in a few hours. My husband wouldn’t stop working, even in the heat, and took it all back to the garden, one wheelbarrow-load at a time.

Meanwhile, he told me I had to dig the good new soil out of that last box so we could lift the frame up and put it on top of the next one. I shoveled. We moved the frame. He nailed it to the lower one. We spread the new soil on top of the manure in the other boxes. We filled up the last box.

There are strawberries in the first box. Won't change them!
Finally I decided I could go buy vegetables and put them in the ground. I bought tomatoes, peppers, pumpkin, and three kinds of squash. And a little watermelon. But then the watering system wasn’t connected, and I thought I needed to see where the drip-system tubes would “end” before I planted.

So we waited until today because more family obligations interfered. Today my husband called me to come out to the patio and look at the vegetables I had bought. They were very wet on Saturday, but on Monday they were dry and all wilted. He said they were dead and that I had just wasted all that money. But we decided to put them in the ground.

We hurried and hooked up all the drip-system hoses, and while my husband was finishing that, I was planting our poor, wilted vegetables. Maybe they would like the manure though! But what if the manure weren’t aged enough and burned them up? We are not farmers, we don’t know these things!

I put “root starter” on them as soon as they were in the ground and then added another pint of water around each plant. We cut the drip hoses to reach just to the base of each plant, tested the drip system, and were happy to see it working.

Yay! Our garden was started, even if it did look sad and wilted!

And then a thunderstorm came over and the rain came fiercely down. I stood at the back door watching and hoping it didn’t turn to hail. It didn’t. These pictures show how our plants were perking up under all the wetness. They just needed a good drink!

Now the big question is whether we will have any produce before the autumn frosts come.

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