This week I was able to work in the vegetable garden and get more than half the tomatoes planted, along with all of the bush squashes. The soil temperature warmed up to over 65°F, meaning it’s time both crops can be safely planted out here. We had a bit of rain early in the week, but not enough to keep me from setting out plants in between the showers. Both beds were already covered in weed barrier fabric with holes cuts, so that made the process a bit easier.
I grew the tomatoes from seed to planting in 50-cell plug flats, and the seedlings are about 7-8 weeks old now. The root systems are well developed, but they are not root bound, and should take off quickly once planted.
The tomatoes I set out are a mix of the small-fruited types and the slicing varieties. The paste and processing tomatoes, along with eggplant, will go in another bed which isn’t ready for planting just yet. That will be next on my to-do list, which is always long this time of year! I’m using my homemade cages made from concrete remesh wire to support all of these varieties I planted this week.
I had the squash plants growing in 24-cell trays, and they are about a month old. These are all bush types, including acorn, zucchini and yellow squash varieties. They did quite well planting in the fabric last year, and it seemed like I had less issues with both squash bugs and fruit rot. Hopefully that trend will continue this year. And of course the only weeds to contend with are the ones that come up in the planting hole, which are usually minimal.
The next two beds that need to be prepped next are right next to each other, and will be home to the eggplant and processing tomatoes as well the all the peppers. It will need to be mowed first before amending with compost and my tailored mix of nutrients like blood meal, kelp, sulfur and bat guano. I also am adding borax, zinc sulfate and manganese sulfate since the soil has tested low for these micro nutrients. These are both doing to be no-dig no-till beds, so I will spread the amendments on top of the soil before putting down the weed barrier fabric. After that I will start planting the vining squashes in another area, followed by sweet potatoes.
I hope you have enjoyed this update on my planting activities, and I’ll be back soon with more happening from Happy Acres!