Today our main focus was clearing out space in the greenhouse and transplanting as many tomatoes as possible. The tomatoes are growing so fast that they need more room than the original flats we planted them in provide. If we were to leave them in these flats, they would quickly die. Other than this, we also watered the mini greenhouse (which is currently full of lettuce); hopefully we will be able to harvest these heads of lettuce soon so that we can store some of the transplanted tomatoes in this mini greenhouse. Over the next few weeks, our main goal will be to transplant tomatoes, tomatillos,
This past week was our spring break at the High School, but we still managed to get a ton of work completed:
Tuesday - renovated beds and installed drip irrigation system to most beds.
Wednesday - Transplanted Onions (Red Zeppelin, Sierra Blanca, and Candy Yellow). Transplanted Kind Richard Leeks. Transplanted Broccoli. Placed floating row cover on Broccoli, spinach seeds, arugula seeds and Swiss chard transplants (to protect from any insects as well as to keep in the moisture during this dry period).
Thursday - Renovated Tomato beds (only the edges, since there is garlic in hte middle). Added soil, fertilizer, and fluffed.
Friday - Installed irrigation to tomato/garlic beds, planted potato's in bed 1 (partial), planted 9 pots with (big black pots) with potato's, re-seeded spinach watered everything.
Today we direct seeded spinach and arugula. With the arugula, we lightly dusted half of our raised bed with the arugula seeds and then covered these with a layer of dirt. We then proceeded to water the seeds. The spinach, however, was a little trickier. For this, we created holes, which were about an inch deep and about 2 inches apart, in one of the beds and then placed one seed in each of these holes. Afterwards, we covered these with more soil and then watered the seeds. Unfortunately, our directly-seeded carrots have still not really grown (there are small sprouts, but nothing major). On the other hand, the carrots which we transplanted from the soil blocks are doing phenomenally. Currently, our biggest challenge has been the dry weather and warmth, which make it hard to keep the beds moist enough for the seeds (seeing as we don't have our drip irrigation system set up yet). Until we have that system set-up, we will have to continue to manually water the garden. Again, we are still transplanting the multitude of tomato plants (and running out of room!), and we even managed to plant some herbs in some of the garden flats. These will remain in the greenhouse for a few weeks, and we will then transplant these to the raised bed in the garden. In addition, we managed to plant two more flats of lettuce yesterday.
Today we finally transplanted the Swiss Chard from the flat in the greenhouse into the garden. These had to be planted about five inches apart and about 1 inch deep. We also topped off a couple more beds with soil and made sure these beds were fully tilled. Before we plant crops in the bed, we want to make sure the soil is not packed down and that last year's nutrient-deficient soil is fully mixed with this year's nutrient-rich soil. We also are continuing to transplant more tomato plants from their flats into the cowpots; in addition, these plants have to be watered with fish emulsion immediately after they are transplanted so that they will not die. Finally, seeing as the irrigation system cannot be set up yet, we still have to manually water all of the outdoor plants
Today we had a fairly quick garden meeting - we tilled the final bed in order to get it ready for new soil. Although some of the beds still need more soil, which we will do at the next meeting, they are looking much better than they did during the winter. Our garlic keeps growing at a surprising rate, and there are currently three beds filled with lettuce as well as our mini-greenhouse near the garden (which holds about the same amount of lettuce as a bed). Next week we will also be working on transplanting the tomato plants into the cow pots, and transplanting the swiss chard from the flat in the greenhouse to a bed in the garden (the chard is starting to get too big for the flat, so we want to transplant the crop before it is damaged in any way). Instructional videos (regarding planting lettuce, transplanting lettuce, transplanting tomatoes, and more!) are soon to come!
Today, we continued to bring some of the new soil over into the beds in the garden in order to replenish nutrients and prep the beds for later planting. We also transplanted a flat of leeks today. Since leeks are roots crops, we had to be careful not to damage the roots in any way when we were pulling the leeks out of the flats. We also had to plant them about 2 inches apart so that they would have room to grow. Furthermore, we mixed the donated soil with metro mix to make a soil for transplanting tomato plants into pots so that they will be able to grow in an ultra nutrient-rich soil. We will continue to use this soil to transplant tomato plants over the next two weeks; the pots will allow them more room to grow and more room to develop a strong root system (which will provide them with extra strength once we plant them in the actual garden beds). We have another garden meeting this week on Thursday, during which we will most likely continue to transplant, till garden beds, water plants, and mix soil.