Thursday, May 27, 2010

Planting at the New House

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.


  1. Chuckling over the moving to Canada have us really trying to use our imaginations here Daphne, lol. The heat the couple of days was a bit much wasn't it.

  2. It sounds wonderful. I can't wait to see pictures!

  3. After being forced out of the garden by days of cold rain, yesterday it turned July heatwave here too. Boo! Maybe an inverted water bottle by your cumin would help it? Or a clay pot sunk nearby, filled and covered? Looking forward to pictures from the new garden!

  4. It all sounds very exciting, so I hope you remember your camera soon!

  5. Daphne, you get that camera and tie it around your neck...or around something! We need pictures, girlfriend. Sounds like a great tomato/pepper bed, with all the heat it will get. How about sending just a little bit of your hot weather over to me? Yesterday we got intermittent rain and warm sunshine, and I think the corn grew six inches. Today is cloudy, lots of rain predicted, with no sunshine.

  6. Oh boy do I know your frustrations with incompetent landscapers. But enough of that. I wish you would send just a little of that heat and sun my way, we've barely gotten out of the mid 60s here for the last few weeks and we've had pissy irritating showers that only annoy and don't water anything.

    Fourteen tomatoes and 6 varieties of beans! Wow, you're going to be showing off some great harvests this summer. I'm looking forward to seeing some pictures also.

  7. Oh my goodness! I can't believe you worked in that HEAT. I wasn't able to do much because it was just too hot, but it sounds like you accomplished a lot. I can't wait to see pics of the new gardens.

  8. You have been busy! The new beds sound like they will be great (now that you have the rocks removed!). Like everyone else, I am really looking forward to some pics (hint hint)!

  9. The thought of setting up another garden after you've already planted one seems so daunting. I wish you the best of luck!

    And I hope that your house sells quickly!

  10. Sounds awesome Daphne!

    Laughing at Granny's comment!

    Bummer about the amount of work that you had to do in the heat... hoping you guys have the perfect gardening weather this summer.

    When will your house be ready?

  11. Kelly, oh the sweat was dripping those days. I always came home and hopped right in the shower. Ick.

    The Mom, I promise some day I'll remember.

    maggie, it might. I'm hoping the ones that didn't give up the ghost already have survived. I didn't go yesterday since we had a rainstorm that night.

    Jan, me too

    Granny, Well our heat wave broke a little. So maybe you got a little warm weather? Then again the 80s will be back soon. I swear this is the middle of summer weather around here.

    michelle, I hope they all grow well. I'm really excited to be trying all the dried beans. I love beans since you can save seed so easily. Ditto for the tomatoes.

    GrafixMuse, lol yeah it was too hot. I was just dying. But it had to be done. I wanted those plants in as fast as I could do it.

    kitsapFG, I promise. Soon.

    Thomas, it is. But when I get the whole new garden up not just a little corner then I will have so much more space than just those two spots. I'll really have my work cut out for me.

    Tony We are moving in in less than a week. So very soon. Then my current house will be the garden I have to travel to.

  12. Good luck with the tigers eye! Mine are starting to form buds already after planting the starts out. Can't wait for all the different beans this year. Its been really hot here as well the last week or so. High 80s-low 90's, they say the whole summer will be hot. At least it has not been very humid yet, that's the worst.

  13. You really turned on my imagination Daphne. I hope you will figure out all the concerns about your backyard. Keep up your excitement and soon post some pictures of your garden for us. I'm looking forward to see them.