Very hot, but very productive weekend. I have completed transplanting it all! That's 277 plants that have been moved from their seedling containers to the garden and does not count anything that was direct seeded at all. Getting the rest of the stuff out took more time (as usual) than expected because those bazillions of propellers are still needing to be yanked and I had a few areas of soil that needed cleaning up, weeding and compostifying.
Tonight I though I would put up some starter pictures. I like to refer back to them as the season goes on. First, here are this year's balcony tomatoes. I wasn't going to do this, this year because we are replacing this balcony railing this summer, but I needed good space for tomatoes and they grew so well here last year that I did it again. This year I used about half the volume of soil in the containers. It will be interesting to see how that impacts yield and watering. In the containers from left to right are Galo De Melon, Black Cherry and returning this year, Dr. Carolyn. No blooms on any of these yet, though BC is close.
This is the rose bed. It is another bed slated for improvement this year as part of the patio project. The roses in this bed are 20+ years old. They are hardy. I ignore them always and they still live. They are very fragrant and are different colors depending on the weather. I should enjoy them more but since they frequently impale me with their giganormous thorns, I tend to resent them. OK I wish death on them from time to time too.
The brick wall and nearby concrete patio get a lot of heat, so this bed always gets some of my heat lovers. In addition to the roses and perennials in this bed, I have four eggplants, two tomatoes, some cilantro and some chard. The tomatoes are Striped Roman (left pole) and Chocolate Stripes. Both of these are blooming but man is SR one wimpy plant. It constantly looks limp and pathetic. It's a healthy green but it has the demeanor of a frail, overbred lady in a heatwave. It always appears as though ready to keel over in a dead faint.
This next bed is currently breaking my rule for productive AND attractive. This is the hot bed and is my hope for actually producing melons this year. The last couple of years I had no luck. This year I made two more changes. 1) Direct seeding to avoid stunting and 2) increasing bed and plant temps by using the cold frame to do it. The seeds I planted in here sprouted after two days. My fingers are crossed that I'm on the right track.
Planted in front of the frame is amarynth and cukes and cilantro. To the right of it you can see Mystery 1 and Mystery 2, the volunteer tomatoes from the worm poop. Both of these already have little tomatoes on them. Mystery 2 is starting to look like a relative of Sungold. I'll know soon!
In the back of this bed you can just see three tomatoes in their self watering container peaking out. These were my shrimpiest seedlings, White and Pink Stripes, Illini Star and Black from Tula. These varieties have their twins planted in the garden. Their twins are currently bigger. My shrimps might be needing a pep talk, or perhaps a bit of organic fertilizer. This is the one container where I reused about half of the potting mix. They might be potting about that.
This is getting long. I'll post pictures of the other beds tomorrow. For now, I'm going to start enjoying phase II which is water occasionally, watch for pests and sit back and watch the growing!