Transplanting Mid Summer – DOH!!

raised bed gardenI am in my 60s and still have a great memory but I have to say that spring and summer 2014 has to be the strangest I can remember. Our vegetable garden was just a big rectangular mud hole.

The spring rain started, of course, but then it just wouldn’t stop. Before the garden could drain and dry there was more rain. You can read about our spring conditions here.

Ooops Veggies Way Too Close Together

The first raised bed of tomatoes is doing fine but the second raised bed was looking way too crammed for space. The crappy looking peppers and tomatoes I bought grew like weeds once they were in the raised beds and before long I realized they were way over crowded and the tomatoes had completely covered up the peppers.

I decided to try and transplant the peppers as I was sure they wouldn’t survive being covered up in the tomatoes.

Transplanting Our Green Peppers

green peppers in raised bedI built a third raised bed and put this one right on the lawn between two flower beds I started last year.

Because I put it directly on the lawn I put black landscape cloth under the bed to keep the grass from growing through the bed and then filled it with organic mulch and garden soil we bought earlier in the spring.

Jenny and I started by adding an inch of organic compost in the bottom and then mixed in an inch or two of garden soil. Then we almost filled the bed with garden soil we had purchased in the spring.

I dug up the pepper plants and Jenny moved them the new bed where I quickly got them back in the ground. Even going as fast as we did it only took about 10 minutes for the pepper plants to start looking dead. I gave them water twice a day and just two days they were already looking better than they did when I transplanted them.

Transplanted A Row of Yellow Pear Tomatoes

Once we had transplanted the green pepper plants from their original bed I could see just how close together I had planted the Yellow Pear tomatoes. So while I was in the transplanted mood I decided to move one row of tomatoes to the spot the peppers had been in.

I planted size of the tomato plants and still had two left so I put those two into separate flower pots big enough for them. A very risky move I know but I was certain they would produce very little if I left them crammed together so tightly.

They looks so sad by the time I was done and for the following three days. Didn’t think they were going to make it but still felt it was the best choice if we want some Yellow Pear chutney this winter.

This morning which is 5 days later they are starting to look better and very few withered leaves so I’m thinking they are going to produce some tomatoes after all.

Bought A Troy Bilt Tiller For The Veggie Garden

pepper plantsEach spring I dig up our vegetable garden using a round mouth shovel garden fork. It usually takes me a couple of weeks to get it ready… if I don’t have to deal with flooding.

A couple of years ago a friend of Jenny’s came over husband and tiller in tow to till our garden. They tilled the garden in less than an hour so each year since I have thought about buying a little tiller and this year we did.

Just about a week ago Jenny and I went to Canadian Tire and bought a little Troy Built Tiller.

troy build tiller
Troy Built Garden Tiller

I used the tiller to loosen the soil at the north end of the garden where it’s the lowest and then dug it out down to about 18 inches then filled the hole with broken twigs and yard debris to help build it up for less flooding as well as better drainage.

burying yard waste

raised bedNext I built a 4×8 raised using 2×10 lumber I found being thrown away by some people moving out of an apartment building.

Once I dragged it into place I put three or four wheelbarrow loads of organic compost in the bottom and a couple of loads of top soil which I mixed together and then continued filling with top soil until close to the top.

Should not flood anymore and I can sit on the edge of the raised bed instead of kneeling next to it.

I also added a thick layer of dark mulch around the bed so we have an area we can walk on without turning things into mud.

I was almost done this part of the project when the rains started and they came down hard but the garden didn’t flood which makes me so happy. The plan is to make a second raised bed which will reach to about the middle of the garden. The rest will just be tilled as it’s already high enough it doesn’t flood.

Going To Have To Start My Vegetable Seed Over Again

cherry blossomsHoly crap I’m having a hard time getting anything started in our vegetable garden but I’m not planting anything until I have the north end raised a few inches to stop the flooding every time it looks cloudy.

The top inch of garden soil was drying out nicely but too wet just below that to start working. In just minutes I would have a big muddy mess and then it started raining again. In just a couple of hours 22mm had come down and soaked but didn’t flood my garden. Just a day or two of sun and it will be ready to start digging.

Hey Squirrels, chipmunks and mice stop digging up my starter seeds and plants. I didn’t actually see who did the damage but either way it sucked to open my garage door yesterday morning only to see all the dirt dug out of the pots and leaves nibbled off the plants.

Lost all my sunflowers and even the extra seeds I had planned to start outdoors. Little buggers eh?

Splitting Hostas Today

hostaThe Hosta Jenny planted next to the garage a few years ago is big enough now that I suggested we split it into 4 or 5 sections and make a flower bed out of them. So now we have 5 smaller hostas along the side of the garage.

It’s only 5 degrees Celsius today so I started off feeling a little chilly but a few minutes with the shovel and I was all warmed up.

This hosta is now cut up into 5 sections and stretched across the north side of the garage. Looks pretty messy but once they start to get their leaves they will look a whole lot better.

Solving Our Vegetable Garden Flooding Problem

I selected the location for our vegetable garden based the fact it’s the furthest away from the sidewalk and less likely to be raided by kids of all ages. The thing is I never put any thought into how low that spot is.

Well after a few years of being frustrated with flooding each spring and replanting or replacing plants after flooding I decided it was time to raise the veggie garden a few inches to make the north end level with the south end of the garden. So I picked up the phone and called Audubon Organics on Mapleton road Moncton and ordered 2 cubic yards of garden soil, 1 cubic yard of organic compost as well as a cubic yard of mulch.

I am not going to just dump in in the garden. First I plan to dig up the north end deep enough to bury dead branch and yard waste from the winter, all organic of course, and then cover it with a thick layer of garden quality soil.