On wednesday we started the gardening day by planting Ryan’s garden. He wanted watermelon more than just about anything, and so we planted 4 seeds of [planlink p=74 title='Moon and Stars'] watermelon. We had started some of these inside, but they got too much water (oops.) and died. His second most desired plant was corn, but we’re planting his corn at the community garden.
After the watermelon, we planted 1/2 an envelope of Sweet Treat carrots.
Once the tomatoes and peppers were transplanted, Ryan came and helped plant lettuce along either side of our paver path.
Here they all are, staked and ready to grow. Ryan’s watermelon and carrots are in the 3×3 foot square in the right corner of the garden.
Calvin has been asking for his own garden the last several days. He felt bad that Ryan got a garden and he didn’t. So we gave him the flower garden. He helped sprinkle the Waltham Butternut Squash across the butterfly garden strip. We also sprinkled the milkweed seeds I collected last year, and the freebie packet of marigolds (I’d link to it, but I can’t find it online. It is “Marigold, Burpee’s Best Mix”). Calvin was plenty happy with this, and was satisfied with how much he’d helped in the garden for the day.
American Meadows: We got the bulk of our flower and lettuce seeds from American Meadows. They have a limited selection of seeds — you couldn’t buy everything for your garden there — but for most seed types you can buy in 1/4 lb, 1/2 lb or multiple pound sizes. I didn’t need farmer quantities of lettuce and flower seeds, but I didn’t want to have dozens of little paper envelopes sitting around either. American Meadows was one of the few places I found to buy in semi-bulk, and the instructions that came with their seed bags were terrifically in depth. I’ll definitely use them again.
Ryan came back from riding his bike to help some more, and so we went to fill up the front yard garden beds. We have wild strawberries in the front part of these beds, and we should get blackberries some time this week, but that leaves a lot of empty dirt for weeds to grow in. So, we planted the rest of the carrots, a row of bush beans, and the rest of our spinach seeds as ground cover. We also planted a row of Annapolis Strawberries seeds right up against the house.
I planted sunflowers as a kid, but only the little black ones the birds liked. Those were the only seeds at our local hardware store, so those were my only option (I don’t think we even got a seed catalog at my house!). I’m excited to have big sunflowers that are going to make big seeds!
Ryan came to help directly from riding his bike, and didn’t want to take his helmet off. He kept it on till he went inside an hour later.
Taming Aggressive Spreaders
In our backyard raised bed we planted Cavendish Strawberries, Earliglow Strawberries,Winona Strawberries, Mammoth Sunflower and green onions. The mint and oregano are both supposed to be terribly aggressive. One online forum writer claimed that mint can break through thin plastic pots and send roots down more than a meter before going sideways to find a place to pop up.
I don’t know exactly how much salt (if any) that sort of story requires, but I have heard that it’s a good idea to plant oregano and mint inside of #10 cans with their bottoms cut out. Supposedly this will force the roots downwards instead of laterally and at least slow their spread. If my yard smells like a minty pizza in a few years, you’ll know that this information was incorrect and insufficient to tame their spread.
Rosemary apparently doens’t like Minnesotan winters, so I simply buried the rosemary can in the ground. I’ll pull it up in the fall to take it inside.
The green onions were just grocery store green onions which we put in a vase, and let them send out roots. I’m assuming that they’ll take to being transplanted. I guess we’ll see!
And that’s it for planting until the community gardens open up or my berries arrive! Still on the urgent list is to weed the butterfly garden. There are tons of little green sprouts. I should pick them before the flowers start growing or I won’t know what’s a weed and what’s not!