Suburban Garden Experiment – May ’10 Update

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It has been just about a month now since I started my garden. I think I have gone wrong in a couple of places but things are moving along pretty well, just not as well as I would probably like. Last year I bought top soil for my garden and I cut it with some compost from the store. This year I further cut it with compost and turned the soil pretty well with a shovel before I planted anything. I most have done something wrong because my dirt gets crusty now after it sits out for a day without rain. I am afraid the crustiness is keeping the dirt from getting the proper amount of nutrients to the roots/seeds and keeping them from being all they can be. I am currently researching organic (i.e. quickly compostable) mulch options for a vegetable garden. It looks like the best bet is to use straw, not HAY, straw. Straw doesn’t contain weed seeds and composts well in the garden. I should be able to just till it into the beds or rake it up for the compost heap at the end of the season.

I have had some additions to my garden layout so I have the updated diagrams below:

Since last month I have added two HOT banana pepper plants, 32 radish plants,an additional 16 carrots, and some onions I got from the neighbor. I am sorely disappointed in my green bean plants. Out of the 24 plants I was hoping for, I only got 6. I am not sure but I think it is because the seeds were around 1 year old. I went out and picked up a new bag of a slightly dffferent kind of bean to try out where I have holes. Radishes are one of my favorite “snack” veggies and it turns out they grow like lightning. Anyone with some dirt and some water can make these babies grow. With only 28 days to harvest it is super fast growing too.

Here is the photo update for this month:

You can sort of see the crusty dirt here on the left garden. The giant leafy things in the middle left are the Broccoli that have started to grow like mad. The front half of the left garden doesn’t look like much because I have had a hard time getting my seeds to start. I think, like my green beans, they were just old seeds. I also only planted one seed in each space so I didn’t exactly increase my chances of success.

On the above left picture you can see the beans on the backside of the left garden. There is one whole square with no bean plants that sprouted, I tried my new seeds there. The other photo is of my cantaloupe plant. I am hoping I can get some nice melons, I have tried to grow a melon before so it will be an experience.

Above left is the zucchini plant, you can see why they say you need 9 square feet to grow it. It is already reaching out of the 1 foot square and it is no where near mature yet. In the upper right you can see some of my blueberries starting to plump up so they can ripen. I have two blueberry bushes, this one is its third full year in the backyard. The other one is a slightly different variety and will be its first full year in my yard. The good thing about having two varieties is one is an earlier bloomer than the other.

I plan on providing these monthly growing/harvest updates as the growing season continues so make sure you subscribe to the RSS feed or follow me on Twitter so you don’t miss out on future updates. Do you have your own garden? Leave me a comment and let me know how yours is doing, or give me some advice on keeping up with mine.


1 The Head Hunter May 4, 2010 at 10:22 am

Awesome update dude! Soil is too heavy man, those little plants just don’t have the strength to break through that tough crust. You need to cut in peat moss or at least cover your squares with plastic to retain moisture and make it all greenhouse-y (I just made that word up right now, on the fly even)

Looking forward to more updates!!!

2 Aury (Thunderdrake) May 5, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Wow, that’s pretty awesome! You got the raised bed mapped out and everything here!

I got a 7th of an acre for the backyard. It’s pretty generous. This year I was contemplating speculating on some crops. But eventually I wanna go the whole nine yards and get it jam packed full of food. It’ll be a bit of a start up, but I think it’ll be a good time investment, no?

This is a good way to help me with my little planning out. Fantastic post, eh? :3
.-= Aury (Thunderdrake)´s last blog ..Hoarding Dragon Basics – Investing in Precious Metals =-.

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