Things have been busy here at Anarchapulco Permaculture farm, but we're slowly but surely getting things done. Due to our current financial situation, glass blowing is on hold so I'm devoting the extra time to making some big progress in the garden. Today I started seeds, strategically as I already have places intended for them. We moved a big pile of urbanite from a pile we dumped previously a few months ago, to the truck, to where it now lays on the hill in a pile. I transplanted some things, replacing weak or dead plants with plants better suited for the conditions of the area where they were planted.
These are the seeds I started today. We currently have no carrots going, so I decided to Google the most efficient way to start carrots. Evidently, they need to be cold stratified so that's what we did, more on that below. Beans are always welcome and I have sad examples. so we've got two types of those, a small red variety and Scarlet Runners. Planting more sweet corn seeds, intending to attempt to direct sow them outside once sprouted. Radishes and beets were also started in a somewhat experimental manner, hopefully with better results than I've had. I planted 3 of the congo watermelon seeds, which should produce giant sweet watermelons.
These are my tools for starting seeds, generally speaking. I don't normally start root vegetables this route, but I'm trying it experimentally to see if I get better germination rates this way. You just wet a paper towel until damp, use drips of water or a home made spray bottle very lightly. Top with seeds, fold, bag and label. A couple days later you generally have white roots showing, which is the best time to plant them. I'll share pictures of that too.
I planted a lot of radishes, the french breakfast variety. According to Burpee, these should be ready to eat 23 days after they have their first true leaves, so long as they have what they need. We intend to let a good amount flower and go to seed so we can keep this unique variety alive here.
I generally plant beans this way, although I've always put them into containers and planted plants outside. This time, I intend to plant the sprouted beans out directly in the garden, to try and save them having to deal with transplant shock, something that seems to be pretty hard on beans here in the tropics. Pre-sprouting them assures I've got a live plant coming up where I plant the bean.
I read online that carrot seeds have very hard outer shells, making them tough to germinate. Most gardeners just plant them a month before the last frost date, but considering I don't have one of those, I'm doing it in the fridge. My internet source told me to freeze them, with a little soil for not more than 24 hours. Then I remove it from the fridge (the back part of it that gets really cold, currently working with a mini fridge) and set it in a dark spot for a few days, or until the seeds sprout. I'll plant them outside immediately, water them and hope for the best.
I've set these labeled bags in a dark, warm space. Over the next few days, seeds will sprout and I'll do my best to plant them where they go. Pictures of this process will be taken and shared, of course.
Today we moved a pile of urbanite we had previously left near our property. We loaded the truck and drove them up the driveway.
We unloaded the rocks, putting them in this pile. We don't intend to have gardens in the spots, so it's okay for a pile of rocks to be there temporarily.
We're going to terrace this area with these rocks, to make large shelves for three sisters gardens.
This is the box of what I transplanted today. There are some beefsteak tomatoes, a few chiles. Two okra, although one was killed because of heavy spider mite infestation on it. I did some research and found out I only need one, as they are self pollinators. There's also an eggplant and some lettuce to replace the ones that Rebel killed. I also brought a container of Organodel, something we've been using since the start here. John did some research and apparently it's a thermal compost base, made from cow poop. Organic fertilizers and bacteria are added, making it a great product to use in your soil. It's also cheap, making it within our budget.
The okra I planted, next to the new pineapple plant.
I planted a few chiles and one eggplant in this bed, but further down from the pineapple.
Freshly replaced lettuce seedlings.
I pulled out some weak and struggling squash plants. I had planted them in a high wind zone, which isn't good for them. In my experiences here so far, tomatoes seem to do well despite high winds, so I'm trying to grow some some Rutgers beefsteaks here, we'll see how they fare.
This is what happened to the squash plants I removed that caused problems in the first place. The wind whipped the plant around, damaging the main stem of the plant. It struggles to grow when this happens and becomes a target for pests and molds. I've not had very successful plants in these beds as a result.
These are the plants infested with the bugs featured in the article I posted earlier today. I cut back most of the damaged foliage and blasted the bugs off the stems with water. I used the water from shaving today, because I used neem soap to wash and shave. I poured this on the soil after knocking the bugs into it in the hope that the small amount of neem has a positive effect. If nothing else, it's good greywater and nutrients for the soil.
The recently planted and teepeed tomato and bell pepper terrace, as it stands today.
These are the plants recently trellised by the end of the driveway, they seem to have enjoyed the heavy pruning as well.
We've had a few seedlings die, but for the most part the kohlrabi are liking where they have been planted.
The lettuce bed, as well as the rest of the garden was recently treated with actively aerated compost tea made in our brewer that John made. I'll write an article about it soon, it's pretty cool.
This tomato plant is a trooper. It's new foliage is healthy and disease free. It's at the end of long vines, but it's growing every day.
I teepeed the two biggest bell pepper plants, to give them structure as they had laid down from the wind. Today, they seem happy with the change and will flourish with the support.
I trimmed more branches in the driveway, freeing up more of that bed. I'll plant carrots, radishes, beets, lettuce and beans there soon. It gets good filtered sun most of the day, so it should be fairly productive. I also moved around some dead leaves on the property, applying them for mulch where mulch is needed.
There's still a lot to do around here, but we got a lot done today. Tomorrow I've got a new, much faster plan for the corn I've been neglecting. It should be planted tomorrow, with congo watermelon and scarlet runner beans to be planted with it to make a three sisters garden. Using long straight sticks and twine, I'll make a fence around it to hopefully deter Rebel from destroying it and the garden within. Until next time, happy gardening.