Monday, April 20, 2009

Gardening Update

The weather has warmed and the garden shows it. This picture shows strawberries at the lower left, then my beets in the foreground, looking impressive, then Sweet Spanish onions, looking great; then the peas--looking ok. The ground on this end of the garden is too heavy for peas, I will plant peas on the far end of the garden next year.

Behind the peas are the tomatoes, finally starting to grow. I lost two plants to frost, had to cover my tomatoes twice. Beyond the tomatoes is my broccoli, growing very impressively. Beyond the broccoli is the potatoes. The potatoes took a long time to emerge, but they are now all up and doing well. Cauliflower is the last green row, and they are beginning to grow too.

I have installed a drip irrigation system this year, with the ability to distribute water soluable mono-amonium phospate through the drip system via a Miracle Grow, inline feeder. Behind that I have a battery powered timer so I can be sure the garden gets watered the right amount, and watered when I am out of town.

I'm liking the drip system. It puts water only where the plants are, keeps the rest of the garden dry keeping down weeds, and allowing me to work in the garden while I'm watering, or after, without getting mud on my shoes. It's a wonderful system and not expensive.

Today I planted Ambrosia cantaloupes--I plant no other kind of cantaloupe. I also planted a row of Crenshaw melons. Sylvan Wittwer PhD agronomist from Hurricane and Michigan State recommends planting melons (all melons) on hills or ridges, deep watering, then not watering near the plant, but moving the drip lines out as the melons grow. This is supposed to eliminate, or minimize, the squash bugs. So this year I am going to try that and see how it works. I had great melons last year, but the squash bugs did eventually take the plants.

If you have never grown Ambrosia Cantaloupes, you must do so. They are without question the best flavored cantaloupe available. You cannot buy Ambrosia melons in the grocery store because they have a short shelf life (does that tell you something about melons and the grocery stores?) But the flavor is out of this world, and if you grow them once, you will never grow any other variety.

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