Yesterday was another long day in the garden. Although the NOAA website was showing dark rainy skies, the sun shone all morning. We heard a rumble of thunder at about 1:30, and received about 5 minutes of rain, but then the rain stopped until a late afternoon sprinkle.
Yesterday I transplanted the brassica seedlings into the newly readied center raised bed, and then Dan helped me set up the row cover. First I had to make holes in the IRT mulch, so I used our propane torch to make nice round holes.
We have a big slug population here at Henbogle, so every seedling got slug prevention treatment — a plastic cup surrounding it, forcing any slug to have to crawl over the cup to reach its intended victim. Party cups in place, each seedling was watered in. According to the square foot method, brassicas generally need 1 square foot per plant, so that’s how I set them out. That leaves a lot of unused space along the edges pf the bed which is troubles me.
Then the row cover went on. We elected to use our PVC mini hoop house setup to keep the row cover well away from the seedlings, as last year that seemed to encourage slug damage. The problem with this is that I was reluctant to set up the hoops in the center of the bed, as it would make the row cover really tall in the middle, as the pvc pipe is 10 feet in length. But the way it is set up now, I am wasting all that space along the edges, which could be housing pretty edible flowers like nasturtiums, which I had decided was a goal for this summer’s garden. Hmmmm… much as it pains me to even think about this, I may need to redo this setup. As it is, we had to use two pieces of row cover connected with clothespins to completely enclose the row.
I planted along the entire row, 3 4″ squares are in the back section, and 4 4″ squares are in the front section. We left a narrow, 12″ gap between the two sections to walk across to the other side. That section used to house my bird bath and old watering can dripper, but we will relocate that for this summer. I left some empty spaces for succession planting in the front section, then will replant a second crop in midsummer for fall brassicas.
Finally, I planted beets, Touchstone Gold and Cylindra, and Swiss Chard, Rainbow Lights, and covered it with more row cover (far left, carrots in front). It was a long day but it sure feels good to have that done!