Updates: leggy brassicas, flowering tomatoes, and planted strawbales
I’ve been too busy catching up with the season to write about what I’ve been up to! So here are some updates on the previously-mentioned experiments I’ve been conducting: My brassica seedlings (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and kale) were transplanted to my earth box to give their roots more room. They’ve been living under the mini-greenhouse I set up on the south side of the house.
I planted about a third of them in the cabin garden last weekend.
They were sizing up nicely. Some were a little leggy, and others had weak stems due to the crowded conditions in the earth box. They should recover now that they have their own space. They’re looking good considering that I expected to have them out of the earth box and in the ground weeks ago.
My tomatoes are huge. I’ve potted them up into larger pots three times now. The cherry toms have blossoms on them already. They reach the top of my make-shift greenhouse and need to get in the ground soon.
The strawbale gardening experiment: I set up eight bales of straw for my experiment three weeks ago. I have faithfully watered and fertilized. I used fish emulsion and blood meal to fertilize. I wasn’t sure exactly how much to use. I think I did about one cup of fish emulsion (undiluted) in total per bale (spread out over a week or so). I sprinkled blood meal on the bales every three days or so for the first ten days. Today I planted the bales. I did two potatoes in one bale and three in another three–just to see which works better. It was difficult to get the potatoes as deep into the bail as suggested (12-18 inches). At first I just tried to dig down into the bale with my sharp trowel. That didn’t work so well. Then I looked for a break between two “books” of straw in the bale. That made it easier. It depends on the bales too because some of my bales were more dense than others. The less dense ones were also more decomposed–making it easier too.
In the other four bales I planted four tomatoes and four broccoli plants. I put compost in the holes and around the surface of the hole. I rigged up a trellis for the tomatoes to climb as well as for me to hang remay over to protect the tomatoes in case of a cold night–although my tomatoes are pretty darn hardy at this point since they’ve been living in my make shift greenhouse. Last night we got some frost but the toms were fine in the “greenhouse.”
Check out my garden log (see the menu at the top of the page) to see what I’ve planted so far.