I’m accustomed to beautiful weather on my birthday every year. This one did not disappoint! My fiancé helped me pick up a load of compost for the raised beds. My plants got their first drink of Neptune’s Harvest hydrolyzed fish fertilizer – which they will continue to get every two weeks throughout the entire season. And all the young plants and seedlings stayed out over night. It was really mild.
I’ve been up-potting more little seedlings into 4″ pots. This time I used a bag of Organic Jiffy Young Plant Mix – with a bit of both Dairy Doo and Trifecta mixed in.
The 10-day forecast predicts lots of sun, and not a night below 40 degrees. I may plant my garden quite early – since I have a back-up method to protect against frost (a very large tarp). Just have to weed the beds, till the soil, and spread the compost!
The cool weather crops have been doing great outdoors every night. Chard and Kale growing nicely. New lettuce and spinach sprouting up! Cabbage, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts are all fine in the lower temps too.
A garden of my own had long been a dream of mine. Shortly after I moved to Northern Michigan, my then-boyfriend and I decided that I should have one in our backyard. He wanted to build me raised beds in horseshoe shape design. The optimal area was that which was not on top of the septic leach field, and would get the most sun in the summer. We invested in 1″x12″ cedar boards, 4″x4″ cedar posts, T posts, and welded wire fencing. He built a door out of scrap 2×4’s. We were committed to making the garden pest-proof, so I stretched bird netting over the top and secured it to the edges of the fence.
The soil here is super sandy, so we bought bulk quantities of top soil and Dairy Doo to fill the beds. First I laid dead leaves over the grass. I also mulched the whole garden with dead leaves after I planted. I put all my peppers in pots mid-May, which allowed me to move them if the weather was ominous. I put brussels sprouts, broccoli, lettuce, kale, and chard all in the ground and sowed beans around May 20. I planted squash, zucchini, celery, basil, and tomatoes on May 26. My whole garden was planted by Memorial Day, which is early here but the forecast looked great and the weather turned out perfectly.
I think it all went pretty well for being my first garden! I fertilized every 2 weeks with Neptune’s Harvest. I managed caterpillar damage with BT. When powdery mildew appeared on my zucchini plant, I combated with the soapy water, oil, and baking soda method. I utilized a huge tarp to extend the season through September. I didn’t get into canning, but I froze tomatoes and dried chili peppers. Now we can’t wait for more fresh, home-grown produce! The whole process is just so fun and satisfying.