The garden is finally finished and has plants growing in it! Its been a long month and I decided to take a couple weeks to rest and gather my thoughts for this post. I've gotten so much done and this entry might be long winded. Its been a productive month though, I finished laying out the landscape fabric, tilled and shaped the beds a couple more times, harvested radish greens, installed a drip irrigation system, planted a bunch of seeds with an Earthway Seeder that I purchased on Ebay, and transplanted my bell peppers and tomatoes.
Almost two months ago, in Another Month On!! , I only had 2 rows of landscape fabric down in between 3 beds. After a couple windy weekends, I finally had a Saturday that was nice and calm, which allowed me to lay down the last row of landscape fabric in between the last 2 beds and got the perimeter done too. For the landscape fabric around the perimeter, I used the staple hammer to secure the fabric to the fence, as close to the ground as possible. Then I used landscape fabric pins to hold the landscape fabric into the ground. On the final strip at the back of the garden, I got the bright idea to secure the fabric to the fence all the way across and then push the pins through the fabric to the ground, which made that one side go super fast. On the other pieces, I stapled and pinned as I went along the fence, which was slow and frustrating. I'm sure Taylor was laughing from inside the house watching me leaning over the fence wrestling with the fabric, staple hammer, and pins.
The radishes were abit of a bust. Because I just scattered them out into the bed, they weren't spaced far enough apart and didn't really radishize. They just stayed white tubers. I was kinda bummed about that but what can you do? Titus and I pulled them out of the bed and washed them. I took them inside and picked the best leaves I could find and separated them from the stems. Washed them one more time and served them as salad with spinach that night at dinner. Taylor and I really liked it, the boys not so much. I kept a 1 gallon bag of the greens for future use.
Before I installed the drip system, I used the tiller really quick on each of the beds and leveled them out. Then I assembled the Earthway Seeder I purchased on Ebay. This was a pretty quick process. It did come with instructions but putting it together was pretty simple. It came with 6 plates that go inside the seed hopper which have a little groove for the seeds that picks them up and drops them into a shoot which leads to the ground and drops them into the furrow created at the bottom. The plates can be changed out depending on what you are seeding so that you get the correct distance between each seed. On the far left bed, I planted carrots to the the radishes that I left at the end. On the left middle bed, I planted all kale. On the far right bed, I planted half lettuce and half spinach. Using the seeder this took me about 30 minutes to an hour. In the right middle bed, I planted 3 holes of cucumber and 3 holes of squash.
Installing the drip irrigation system was alot easier than I thought it was going to be. I bought a kit from Lowe's which included 1/2 inch tubing for the main line from the faucet, multiple connectors, and 100 feet of drip irrigation line, which was enough to cover one bed with 4 25 foot long lines spaced about 6 inches apart. So I purchased another 300 feet to cover the other 3 beds the same way. The kit also came with a punch that allows you to put a hole into the 1/2 inch main line to push connectors through it and connect the drip irrigation line to. Once I had the first bed done, the other three went pretty quick. I secured the 1/2 inch main line to the ground with left over landscape pins so that it wouldn't move and used support pegs at the end of each drip line to keep them in place.
After about few days of letting the irrigation system run and keeping the bell peppers and tomatoes outside, I transplanted them in the front of the middle right bed. The tomatoes took some trauma in the transplanting. I have lost 2 so far but I think the rest will make it. The bell peppers transplanted with no problems. I cut the bottoms off of the jiffy cups I used to start the seeds and put a handful of organic compost at the base of each hole I made to for each plant. I also got some 4 foot tall bamboo stakes to use when they get taller to tying the plants to so that I can train them upwards.
Everything that I planted has sprouted and the irrigation system is running every 12 hours for thirty minutes. Now all thats left is to sit back and watch it grow. And weed....so many weeds. I'll be updating every week or so just to show the progress of the plants.