I keep meaning to take photos when I go to the new house to water the seedlings. Without fail I forget. So you get a photoless update which isn't as fun, but so much has been happening there.
I have one long bed by the driveway that I'm using for this year's garden. It has a little rock wall in front of it. The builder filled it with rocks and then two inches of top soil. So I had to pay a fortune to remove it all and replace it with real top soil. We tried finding someone on Craig's List that wanted the rock fill, but no luck. I don't know what he expected anyone to grow in there with two inches of top soil. Maybe crab grass. Even if I were planting bushes or perennials there I would have had to haul out most of those rocks.
The bed is about 2 1/2-3' deep. In the back there was weirdness again. The level of the neighbors yard is about 6" higher than in our bed. So I shored up the soil with some 2"x8"x16 concrete blocks set into the soil on end in one part and on the side in the other. This will keep their soil from falling in and also keep their grass from invading. Why didn't the landscaper do it right? Why didn't they make the soil in both yards the same height? Or at least put a little retaining wall in. There was a reason when we bought the place we told them to stop the landscaping immediately. Everything they did was wrong. Even my front walk. Every landscape designer that we interviewed said there should be a step in our front walk so we wouldn't slip on the ice in the winter, but no he put a sloping brick path instead.
Well enough complaining. And onto the vegetables. Last Thursday I started preparing the bed. I fertilized and turned over the soil. I planted 14 tomatoes, all different varieties. Maybe I should just make a list of the rest: 6 varieties of pepper (cayenne, Big Chili II, early jalapeno, serrano, sweet cherry, California Wonder), six varieties of beans all of which are dried beans except Kentucky Wonder (Trail of Tears, Ottawa Cranberry, Kentucky Wonder, Black Coco, Red Kidney, Tiger's Eye from Dan), Waltham Butternut Squash, Costata Romanesca zucchini, cilantro, flat leaf parsley, basil, cumin, dill, Diamant cucumbers, Ruby Chard, Verde Puebla tomatillos, marigolds and nasturtiums. The bed has about 200 sqft of planting space.
Needless to say it took me a while. I mostly got it all done in three days and it took about nine hours of work in the broiling heat. I drank a lot of water. This bed will be very hot. It is right next to the driveway and the wall just absorbs the heat of the sun. I'm hoping the tomatoes do well here since it will be very very hot. Since then I've been going over there every day to water. Sadly some of the cumin is dying. Even watering once a day wasn't enough for it. We have been having a heat wave and those little tiny plants got all dried out. Usually this time of year we are in the low 70s, but we have been in the low 90s the last couple of days. This really feels like the middle of summer to me. I wonder what July has in store for us. If it is temperatures in the 100s I'm moving to Canada.
Oh and to the rest of the new house yard. We hired a landscape designer and have been working with her. We have the hardscape plan pretty much finalized and it is going to to bid. Things are probably going to start sometime in July.