Friday, May 24, 2013

Setting Up the Vegetable Garden

This has been an extremely busy time.  For more than a week, I have been gradually exposing the seedlings to higher and lower temperatures, as well as more and more hours of sun.  It's made for a lot of running around, since many afternoons have been both rainy and sunny.  I have been watching the weather reports to make sure that the plants never sat outside below 50 degrees.  They have been getting maximum sunlight, too, so I have had to make sure the plants didn't dry out.  All and all, they have gotten used to being outdoors.

The weather report said the cold nights were over - meaning not really going below 50 degrees, so I decided to start putting the plants n the ground.  I had fertilized the soil weeks ago, so all I have to do is dig the holes, add a little fertilizer for each plant (3 T).  It's an organic fertilizer for tomatoes and vegetables.

So far, I have planted 9 Bellstar Tomatoes, 7 Yellow Pear Tomatoes, 8 cabbage, 8 eggplant, 8 bell pepper, 8 watermelon and 7 cantaloupe plants.
For the tomato plants, I cut off the lowest branches, as they seem to suck up a lot of the plants energy/food, but won't bear fruit.  At least I don't think those branches will.  I read on a gardening website that it's good to do this, as well as plant a bit of the tomato plant's stem in the ground - I think this is so it will grow more roots and strengthen the plant.

So, now some of my concerns:
  1. Only after I put the plants in the ground did I discover that the next 2-3 days are going to be cold.  One of the nights will actually dip down to 38 degrees!! I think I may try to cover the seedlings at night to protect them.  I'm not sure how yet, but I'm going to have to act fast.
  2. I did not rake/level the garden as thoroughly as I should have, so it is pretty uneven in parts.  I'm not sure how this will effect the plants, but in the fall I'm going to rototill everything! I would have/should have done it this spring, but as always, I just can't seem to get to everything.
  3. I'm worried about pesky critters eating my plants.  I still haven't figured out how I'm going to enclose this huge garden....
  4. I did not even think to leave paths between the rows of vegetables, so it's going to be a little challenging moving about the garden.  I have only planted half of the garden, so I will be sure to leave myself more room when I plant the rest.
  5. I did not put any stakes in for the tomato plants and am considering doing it this weekend so I don't disturb the roots later.

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