June 2010


Bed 6--Before Planting 19 June 2010

Soil preparation consisted of loosening soil to ~1 foot depth with a digging fork (note: always stand on a plywood board in order to avoid compacting the soil as you work!). All of the following soil amendments are per 100 sq. ft.:

Added 9 x 5 gallon buckets = 6 cu. ft. of home-made, sifted compost. Also added amendments as per Timberleaf Soil Test Report No. 27447, Sample ID 2-10, dated 25 April 2010:  12 oz. Ag. Lime, 11.5 oz. gypsum, 2.5 oz. Sulfur, and 0.4 oz Fertibor (boron), with an equivalent amount of just the Fertibor to be added in the Fall. All of these were mixed into the top 6-inches of soil, and raked to even out the surface before planting of the “Contender” variety string bean starts from the greenhouse at 6-inch spacings.  As of 28 June, planted the leftover string beans that would not fit into this bed into Bed 5 with the corn.  This way, the string beans can use the cornstalks for support as they grow.

Bed 6: Fully planted with "Contender" string beans and Yuman sweet corn

Here we are, 20 June 2010, and a fully planted Bed 6.

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Bed 7: Fully planted

Here is Bed 7 after a hard day’s work, fully planted with 58 “Green Zebra” tomatoes I grew from seed I saved, and 2 “Pineapple” tomatoes purchased from Andy’s from “Oldies but Goodies.” They are spaced 15-inches apart.  To prepare this bed, I sifted 9 x 5 gallon buckets of weed compost (= 6 cu. ft.); spread the compost on the bed’s soil and sprinkled the following soil amendments, as per Timberleaf Soil Testing Sevice’s Report No. 27447, Sample ID 2-10, dated 25 April 2010: 12 oz. Ag Lime; 11.5 oz gypsum; 2.5 oz sulfur and 0.4 oz Fertibor (boron).  After sprinkling, I mixed all these into the top 6 inches of the soil with a spading fork, and proceeded to transplant my tomato starts.

Bed 7: Before planting

Bed 1 fully planted

Bed 1: Fully planted

This is Bed 1, after having single-dug it (loosening the soil with a spading fork down to 12-inch depth), de-weeding it. and adding the following:  just 3 x-5 gallon buckets = 2 cu. ft. of home-made and sifted compost, 1.5 oz sulfur, 7 oz. gypsum, 0.35 oz Fertibor (14.9% boron) as per Timberleaf Soil Test Report 27447, Sample No. 1-10, dated 25 April 2010. Here’s what I planted, from front to back in this view: 6 orange-fleshed, sweet melons (seed from Tierra Farm melons I ate); I left the beautiful flower that planted itself (and whose seed I first got from George Washington’s home, Mt. Vernon); 2 zucchini; 2 spaghetti squash; 6 Kabocha squash; 9 lemon cucumbers (round and yummy); 3 Bell peppers (starts purchased from a store); one “mystery” squash (volunteer in compost pile) that I bet is a Kabocha; 7 Kosher style pickling cucumbers; 3 volunteer tomatillos; one Russian Mammoth sunflower (only one that germinated out of 6 seeds); 10 white-seeded Tarahumara sunflowers, 4 “Bloomsdale” spinach, and yet another volunteer tomatillo (planted 6/13/2010).

Bed 1: Before planting

Bed 1: 6 June 2010, before planting

Here is what Bed 1 looked like just beforehand.  Note the shade cloth used to keep moisture in.

Bed 5 -Before Planting

Bed 5: Before planting

Here’s Bed 5 before soil preparation and planting. Note the shade cover, which is used to keep moisture in, to keep the little soil organisms happy, even whilst the bed lies fallow. Also note the CA poppies in the next Bed over (Bed 6) and in the pathway between Beds 5 & 4 (to the right). To prepare the soil, I sifted and added 9 x 5 gallon buckets (= 6 cu. ft.) of home-made weed compost,

Bed 5: After planting sweet corn

Bed 5: After planting sweet corn

12 oz. Ag Lime, 11.5 oz. gypsum, 2.5 oz elemental sulfur powder, and 0.4 oz 14.9% Fertibor boron (per Soil Test Report 27447, 25 April 2010, Sample No. 2-10 from Timberleaf Soil Testing). I then transplanted ~64 Yuman Yellow Sweet Corn (grown from seed I got from Native Seeds/SEARCH in Tucson, AZ). Now that the weather’s warm (finally!) the corn grows noticeably each day! Note that the CA poppies are gone. A huge task is de-weeding the pathways, putting cardboard down, and then wood chips onto the cardboard to help keep the weeds down. This is absolutely necessary in order to be able to work the beds!