Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend was busy, busy, busy and all garden related too

We Replaced the Supports on the SFG. I was really unsure that the PVC trellis would hold over the growing season supporting Super Marzano Tomatoes. Rather than worry about it all summer, K decided to just replace the PVC with 2x3 supports. As an added precaution, he fastened rebar supports on the front and back of each 4x4 SFG to secure it from flipping over if we happened to experience any high winds when the trellis was full of tomato vines.

I could not find nylon trellis material at any of the garden centers we shopped at, so I ended up placing an order at the Square Foot Gardening website for 50-feet of 4 foot nylon trellis for only $12.50 plus $4.00 shipping: Trellis.

Planting the Square Food Gardens (SFG) was a breeze. I simply dug my holes according to my plan, loosened the roots of my transplants, placed them in the hole, watered in, covered with soil, and watered again. The Super Marzano Tomatoes were leggy so I dug a trench the length of the square foot they were to occupy and laid them sideways along the trench, watered in, and covered with soil. The tomatoes should grow upright towards the sun and roots will grow along the stem under the soil and provide a more stable root system for these tomatoes.

The traditional garden was a challenge, as I had to contend with the solar mulch that I am using to help prevent weeds and crab grass from taking over during the growing season. Simply poking holes and planting was not so easy as I worried about the wind catching the solar mulch and pulling my plants out.

I realized that cheap tomato cages could not only provide plant supports, but also function to pin the solar mulch down around individual plants. I used these for the Window Box Roma Tomatoes that should only grow 20-inches high, and the peppers:

I then cut down the three sections of the cheap tomato cages to hold the solar mulch around the melons and squash plants:

Watering will be easy too as I can either use the Water Spikes I blogged about last week or use the soaker hose.

I removed the solar mulch in the areas the bush and pole beans will be planted for now, since weed growth is usually not a problem for me with these crops because they tend to shade out the weeds by their quick growth.

I finally got most of my transplants in the garden, mulched and watered by late afternoon Monday. I was exhausted and all my muscles ached. I took a long shower and got into some comfy clothes and planned on putting my feet up and taking it easy for the rest of the evening.

But all that changed when we turned on the local weather… I couldn’t believe what I was hearing: FROST ADVISORY OVERNIGHT. Are you kidding me!? It was 80 and 90 degrees just last week?!

So I gathered all the old sheets and pillowcases I could find and K and I worked on covering the newly planted transplants. Luckily the plants were so small I could place large pots over most of them to create a shelf for the sheet to rest on. The pillowcases fit snugly right over the tomato cages. We covered up all we could and hoped for the best.

There was only one casualty. One Basil plant seemed to be affected by the frost. I didn’t cover the area where I planted three basil plants and only one was damaged by frost:

The rest faired well, but these cold conditions are not going to do much for these poor guys. Here are some pictures from today:

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