Monday, April 19, 2010

Bring on the heat

We spent a chunk of time on Sunday at our garden plot... such a lovely day and way to spend it. We transplanted tomato plants I'd started from seed a few weeks ago ('Sungold' and 'Bella Rosa'), along with some red bell pepper plants picked up at a local nursery. Now at least half our plantings are in sync with the above-normal temperatures -- except then temperatures dropped back to normal for a few days (figures). So then we decided to add a Wall O'Water to a couple of the maters to create a little microclimate for them. Kinda silly in Mississippi, I know. These are the kinds of things that Idahoan gardeners use (notice the snow in the picture) to get the growing going in May. Still, J's hesitation gave way to my argument to run a little experiment. Not much replication, but what the heck. Can't really hurt. It if does, we'll find out soon enough. We also planted edamame, green bean, and patty pan squash seeds on Sunday.

J started worm composting at our house last summer. He dug a big container into the ground (to protect the worms against the winter cold and the summer hot) and goes out and feeds them our kitchen waste every so often. They're kicking butt! We used some of the castings with our transplants and then we even brought some out to add to our plot.

The more normal temperatures we had at the beginning of the week seemed to be good for our kale, arugula, and chard. We've got new leaves, although the plants don't seem to be getting much bigger. My radishes look okay (in the pic below)... at least the second leaves are looking green and strong. The beets, well.. they're still teeny tiny.

Sunday was a very nice day to be at the garden. Other people thought so too! During the course of two+ hours, we saw five or six other plot holders come and go. One plot holder is doing a great service to the garden, installing above-ground spigots near each water box. That, along with being able to leave the hoses out now since the gates all have locks now, makes it much less trouble to water the plots. The easier it is to water, the better for sure. We were pleasantly surprised to find that our mulching strategy (newsprint+leaves) is working to keep the soil pretty moist.

Grow little plants, grow!


  1. That's the mulching strategy that my mom used and it worked great in the hot summers of eastern washington. We also tested a bark type mulch with and without newspapers for suppressing weeds in a full factorial design experiment at one of our park sites. The newspapers + mulch did better than mulch alone or unmulched in suppressing weeds.