I’m running behind on my one-hour-a-day gardening, the project in which I try to quantify my time spent growing a majority of our food. I had the opportunity to visit Portland, OR. An amazing city in terms of bike lanes and sustainability within our current system. More on that soon. Otherwise, I was busy in the garden over these last few weeks.
These Last Weeks
The tomatoes and cucumbers have been planted and trellised. The cucumber trellises are made out of u-posts with an attached 2-×-4-in galvanized fence bent into an arbor. The beds are topsoil piled up, covered in newspaper mulch and then straw. The tomato trellises took advantage of an existing laundry post and the resit is t-posts with toplines to hold the descending strings, up which the tomatoes will vine themselves. These are the San Marzano tomatoes, while I have planted other varieties elsewhere to avoid cross pollination.
The potatoes are growing well. They are grown in rows with cardboard between the rows to suppress weeds. This was an overgrown area with robust weeds, but the cardboard has done a remarkable job keeping them down. The potatoes are hilled up with straw as needed.
I’ve also used black plastic as sheet mulch. This will not be regular practice, but I had three huge black plastic bags that were given to us to cover the organic compost for the potato study. Once all the compost was distributed to participants, these bags were cut open and spread on the ground. It suppresses weeds and keeps moisture in the ground. I’ve planted melons, squash, corn, and beans in holes poked in the sheet mulch. I also mulched onions, but used newspaper and straw to help keep the weeds down. The other area of corns, beans, and squash were mulched with cardboard and straw. This is the year of building beds. Next year, I hope to keep using these same beds but with much less work!
And finally, the raised beds and peas need some work. After being gone for about a week, the weeds are taking advantage of the rain and sun. I’ll be spending this week trying to get things back under control and give the garden plants a chance to overtake the weeds.
Oh, and I removed some boxwood bushes to make room for herb beds and hot water solar panels. The shrubs have a new home at my in-laws’ house.
I averaged 57 minutes a day in the last two weeks.