Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Maple Hill Hop 75

Maple Hill Hop

Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
*Please link back to Maple Hill 101.*

Even though our house is for sale,
I feel the need to keep my dreams moving forward.
That includes continuing to garden for as long as we're here.
 With readying the inside of the house and painting the exterior in order to list it, 
the garden is a bit behind.
This past weekend, I was able to finally install a couple of veggie beds.

This is a bed on the southernmost part of our backyard.  
I am transitioning some of our ornamentals closer to the house,
and planting the veggies in this area.
This is one of three new beds I plan to put in throughout the next 2 weeks.

This part of the bed had some lettuce and peppers planted
right alongside some society garlic and citronella.
The peppers got nudged over just a bit,
and I relocated the citronella closer to the patio,
as it is supposed to help with mosquito control.
I've been experimenting lately with edible landscaping,
mixing ornamentals with veg, so I may just leave some of it as is.

 The first step in the process of creating my new bed was to remove the old mulch.
We use pine straw in the backyard and really love the natural look.

The cleared mulch is placed to the side 
until we level out the spot.

A double layer of newspaper is added to the area,

and then the old mulch is replaced back on top.
This allows us to reuse the mulch that has been broken down over months,
while adding nutrients to the soil.

Our rich, hand-cranked soil is added next.
Faye, Lynn and I made this about a week ago,
using his method for soil production.
We used some store-bought veggie and fruit tree mix,
along with some perlite and a bit of Lynn's Envirosoil.
It's some mighty sweet stuff.

The new, luscious loam is spread across the paper and mulch
and leveled.
I'm excited to see how using the improved soil affects my crop production.

The transplanted peppers were placed close together
in the middle of the bed.
These are sweet banana peppers.

The "sweet millions" tomatoes (that were long overdue for transplanting),
now have room to spread out a bit.
The last step is to cover with new pine straw
(which I need to purchase)
or whatever mulch you like.
This area gets partial shade in the afternoon,
which we need this time of year to grow tomatoes.
Even this variety of cherry tomato appreciates some cover.
It's just too hot to grow them in full sun.
With temps expected in the mid to upper 80's all week,
these will most likely be watered daily until they are stronger.

I hope to get to this next bed this week.
Right now it has a smattering of ornamentals and veg,
including daisies, lantana, liriope and a pot of native petunia, zinnias and portulaca 
coming up along with a few broccoli and eggplants in there.
We will transition it to a veggie bed containing
eggplant, green beans, carrots, parsley, baby kale
and brandywine tomatoes.
I'm thinking maybe I should just use the enriched soil where crops will be planted, 
akin to the method used by Old World Garden Farms,
instead of using it throughout the bed.
Maybe we'll do an experiment and see if we can tell any difference in crop production.
Well, that's the status report on our Central Florida garden.  

What's happening where you are?
HOP on!


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