I finished putting my garden in yesterday. It had just gotten rototilled last Sunday and then it took me all week to get it put together. It was a mostly cold spring and lot of flowers bloomed late, and lost of gardens around here were late going in. Nature has a way of catching up though. We had a brief hot spell about a week ago that seemed to really get everything growing. Beans that I seeded last Sunday have sprouted already.
It has also been a very dry spring. There’s a good soaking rain today which I am grateful for as I’m already tired of watering plants that I had started in the greenhouse and then planted.
As usual I am running a couple experiments from which I will learn whether they succeed or not. Last year was the 1st year of my new very large garden (75’X170′) which was a disaster as the weeds got ahead of me to the point I just gave up. Some stuff grew well regardless though. This year I’ve put down a good quality reusable weed fabric that’ll reduce what needs weeding by about 80%. I saved some potatoes from last year and planted both them and new seed potatoes that I bought. I’ll see if there is a difference in yield. More or less I’ve got some of seemingly everything out there. Haven’t decided what I’ll can vs just give away. Last year the deer seemed to ignore that awful smelling stuff I sprayed with but I’m thinking maybe I wasn’t diligent enough in my spraying. I am trying a different brand this year plus I ringed the garden with strands of fishing line that I was told might keep them out as they won’t like bumping into it. We’ll see. Even if it keeps the deer out, it won’t keep the bear out, but the bear mostly just took the corn whereas the deer had a much wider appetite. The bear can trample a lot as he walks through though so I have the corn along one of the edges. Somebody already ate a couple of my cuke plants. Not sure who that’d of been. I’ve got a much better trellis netting system this year for the pole beans and metal posts which are sturdier than the wood ones I used last year. The beans were so abundant that the weight of them started to pull the whole thing down last year. One experiment I am trying is with carrots. I did one row planted in the normal way which will require thinning and another where I painstakingly tried to put fewer seeds so as to not need to thin. That is easier said than done with such small seeds. Because it doesn’t matter if I waste space or not in a garden that big, just to see what happens I replanted some small onions that I saved from last year. They were too small to bother with for eating so I had cut off the tops, put them in a plastic bag and kept them in an extra refrigerator that we had in the basement. The cut tops were still green. I otherwise have new plants that I started from seed.
For those with the typical small household gardens (like I always had myself), about the only thing they have in common with very large gardens such as I have now is the word garden. Big gardens are very labor intensive.