There was much excitement in El Jardin de 10 Blocks this weekend. We got some major planting done! As you can see, the tomato plants were bursting out of their space in front of the dining room window. Its hard to believe they started from tiny seeds! I am very hopeful about this, though nervous as well. The seeds I directly sowed the day we had the soil delivered never germinated. I think I figured out that the beds soak up a LOT of water. My watering them every day with my simple watering can was not enough. Luckily Drew & I purchased a SWEET Dramm kaleidoscope rain wand from Ace (mine is purple, in case you were wondering) and it seems to be doing the trick. I put the plants and seedlings (tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, cucumbers, okra, eggplant and Brussels sprouts) out on the deck to get used to the sun while I direct sowed some new seeds into the beds. I planted corn and zucchini next to each other (two of the three sisters!). Since the snap peas didnt grow, I think I will re-plant them near the corn to complete the trifecta. In the next few days I also intend to plant watermelon and kale as well as re-planting the lettuce, carrots, and arugula.
Once the seeds were done, I started to work the plants and seedlings in. I compost so I was really excited to be able to put some fresh, beautiful “home grown” soil at the bottom of each planting hole. This was the first time I’ve taken soil out of the composter this year and I was so impressed with how good it looks! I only decided to plant six tomato plants (three Rutgers and three cherry). It was hard picking my favorites especially since I’ll be giving the rest away. These poor tomatoes had a TERRIBLE first day in their new home though. First, they were a bit unused to “standing on their own” since they spent their lives leaning against the window. They started out REALLY floppy. I know they’ll eventually right themselves, but I am training and supporting them by using twist ties connected to sticks I stuck in the ground next to them. Yesterday also happened to be INCREDIBLY windy. In Denver, we got gusts up to 50 miles per hour. While it was warm and sunny, the wind did a number on the poor tender plants. Many of them had leaves broken or blown off. I hope they survive. In the next few weeks I’ll get cages for the tomatoes and I also intend to plant marigolds around them. Just as the three sisters, they also have a symbiotic relationship, and the marigolds should help protect the tomatoes from pests! I planted the peppers next to the tomatoes and then planted the cucumbers, okra, Brussels sprouts, and eggplant in the next bed. Fingers crossed for all these little guys! The garlic patch is growing like gangbusters! Both the culinary and elephant garlic are getting huge, I cant wait for a great harvest from them this summer! In the meantime, I’m hoping to cook with garlic scapes sometime this spring!
My herb patch is also doing quite well. My chives are spreading and my lemon balm is already 3 times the size it was last year! Oddly, my mint did not return. This is funny since I hear everyone say how they become so overrun with returning mint, they actually have to pull it.
Finally, I know this isnt part of my veggie garden but I am so in love with my poppy patch that I had to post a picture anyway. They make me so, so happy every year but they only last a few short weeks. I have to enjoy them while I can.
Hooray! We’re officially in business!