How's about a garden update? Yeeeehawww! :COUGH:COUGH: Man. I have to stop trying to be cool...
In the last week, Mr. UpCountry and I have done quite a lot!
We finished our raised beds. By "finished," I mean: we added organic compost, some other super-awesome amendments (think FoxFarm and HappyFrog), earthroom castings, ProMix (etc.), and perlite. I got the best upper body workout of my life, moving and mixing all that soil and stuff around.
Now the raised beds are ready to rock. Or, actually (and more preferably), grow.
We thinned out our kohlrabi and mini-cabbage seedlings. Each cell had two, three, or four seedlings in them and we pared it down to one in each. We sterilized the finest-tipped scissors we could find and cut out all those seedlings that were, well, voted off the island.
That vote was decided based on the strength of the seedling (does it have a nice, sturdy stalk?) and its stage of growth. Some seedlings have a nice hearty pair of true leaves. Those are the ones we kept.
We snipped the seedling's stem right above the soil line. Now our seedlings won't have to compete with their brothers/sisters for nutrients, light and warmth. It's a green light for supergrowth for those left behind (hint, hint, seedlings. You better be awesome. Those sanitized scissors aren't too far away...)
We also started the rest of our seedlings: carrots, bush beans, peas, spinach, beets, and lettuce. They ran out of those handy little coco-pots I used a few weeks ago, so I had to use a seed-starting kit. I definitely don't feel as good about pouring warm water over little dry pellets and waiting for them to expand. It somehow doesn't seem as fool-proof as pulling a handful of soil out of a bag, but it must be. It seems to be marketed that way, anyway.
We discovered a new greenhouse in the area, about 8 miles from home. Northern Breezes, in St. David, has some beautiful greenhouses filled with healthy veggies, flowers and herbs. They also had a surprise supply of ProMix BX! (Trust me, up here, that's up there with the big discoveries. Y'know, lightbulb; wheel; ice cream).
In addition to a hefty purchase of ProMix to fill in the remainder of our raised beds, we bought some strong, stocky jalapeno plants. Basil and strawberry too!
That's basil. Here are the strawberries!
We had to travel over 20 miles to find perlite (which had to be ordered in larger bags). Corriveau's in Wallagrass was able to get us some; we also bought some banana pepper plants from them (first place we found them and I've looked).
Finally, we transplanted my tomato seedlings from the flat trays into individual cells. Those flat trays really didn't work that well for me. Moving them was an issue, as the soil tended to crack whenever they shifted. Also, since I didn't add any drainage holes to the bottom (because I have my dumb moments), I wasn't able to water them properly. I was afraid to ever water them with confidence, because I didn't want them to stand in it. Thus, I under-watered them. Oh, you finicky soil, you. They aren't growing very well. Hopefully transplanting them will help them along.
All in all, my entryway/sun-room is starting to fill up quite nicely will little green seedlings. As much as the world outside seems to be balking at growth, my seedlings are being true to the nature of spring (something has to. sheesh.).
The weather around here has been in the 60s. Humid. On my short walk to the raised beds this afternoon, my face got wet and it wasn't raining. :smirk
Over the past weekend, the buds started popping out on the trees. It's beyond-wonderful to drive around and see the hills smudged with light color.
I spotted my first bees (let the "running in terror" begin). At night, the treefrogs' peeps are louder than the hum of the refrigerator, which is (of course) a good thing.
At this point, Mr. UpCountry and I have to settle down for some planning. We're going to graph out "what goes where" in the raised beds and brainstorm some new plants to bring in that'll help our existing veggies defend themselves against pests (think cilantro and rosemary). It's called companion planting and we both have our noses in books (or, in his case, eyes on screen) researching it lately.
And, with all that research, comes note-taking. Good thing I love my handwriting.
Tomorrow the weather's supposed to clear up and I'll be able to get my hands dirty again. I'm letting the soil in the raised beds sit for at least a week; that way, it'll develop a nice, friendly, local little ecosystem (as in, make friends with compost and other amendments).
On a scale of 1 to 10, how cliche is it to hum "Here Comes The Sun" right about now?
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