Monday, May 23, 2011

Big Fat Earth is finished

Hello again garden gals and guys! I've been telling you about the big garden that I am planting and I know you've been waiting for pictures so here they are! I call this garden Big Fat Earth...well, because it's MUCH bigger than my garden at home which is now Little Fat Earth! :o)

I am sooooo excited about everything that's growing!! We've got: Crimson Sweet watermelons; Gold Star cantaloupes; bell peppers; habaneros (really hot peppers); cucumbers (straight eights and a variety that grows in a bush); tomatoes (too many varieties to name but I have cherries, beefsteak types and romas); eggplant; zucchini; onions; Sweet Georgia collards; basil; oregano; and parsley!

Well, enough talk here are the pictures! This first one is the land after it was tilled--5000 square feet of wonderful soil! This was before the gardening began:


This is me and my secret garden weapon beginning to build the mounds:


While we working, the chickens came over for a visit:

Let me tell you a little about what I was doing. I broke the 5,000 square feet up into four rectangles, with each rectangle consisting of about nine to ten long mounds. Each mound row has several plants in it.

I did the rest of the work alone, which is why it took soooo long to finish. OK, this is the tomato rectangle, sans tomatoes (hey....it took a LONG time to just dig those beds!):


Here is a view from the middle of the garden looking at the completed cantaloupe patch (rectangle closest to you) and partially completed watermelon patch:


I then dug another rectangle for peppers, eggplants, onions and cucumbers. I left a nice wide rectangle in between the watermelon and cantaloupe patches to give them room to sprawl and crawl.

Here are several piks of the plants in the ground. Yeah, they are small but they are going to shoot up quickly now that the heat is startin' to kick in!

This is one of my watermelon plants:

This is my miscellaneous patch (the cukes, peppers, onions and eggplants although you can't see the onions in this shot):

(In my best southern drawl) Here's them Georgia collards:


Here is the watermelon patch:

Another shot of the beds:


Then the mulching began. Tote that barge, lift that bale!

I mulched the melon beds first because, according to my dear hubby, they are the most important crops!




Melon beds completed:


Mulching the tomato bed:


OK and this is me planting sweet potatoes in the bed in between the cantaloupe and miscellaneous beds:

And that's it folks! It took about two weeks to get it all done and mulched. Now I just have to watch for cucumber beetles and stink bugs and care for these babies til harvest time!

Stay tuned though because I harvested lettuce from Little Fat Earth and I'll be showin' you what's growin' on here on the home front!

Until next time garden gals and guys....

Happy gardening!!!!

5 comments:

  1. I'm jealous of all the space, not so much of all the work it must have taken! Good Job!

    In the vein of "There's no such thing as a stupid question", I'm going to ask: Can I purchase bales of straw for mulch anytime during the growing season? Or will it get harder to find at certain times of the year? (In which case, I'd stock up when it's available.)

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  2. Interesting question. I bought mine from the Anne Arundel Farmer's Co-op and the cashier mentioned that the price went up (literally overnight) because there is a straw shortage. She said it's because it's been so wet and either crops are failing or farmers haven't been able to harvest. Not sure how much truth there is to that, but since it has been so wet, I would say stock up when it's available!

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  3. Do you have a problem with the bugs hiding in the straw? Last year we had problems with the stink bugs hiding in the leaf mulch I used and I have had quite a few cucumber beetles so far this year. I have the straw, but am worried that they will just go there to hide when I try to kill them.

    BTW Stephen if you still need straw, on craigslist there was a farmer selling bales of straw for $3, I believe he is in Jarrettsville.

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  4. Hi, Christine...

    No problems so far. The cucumber beetles seemed to have died down and when I went to check my plants this weekend I didn't see any at all. I was told by a farmer that they kind of swarm and then things calm down.

    I haven't seen any stink bugs YET. I am on the lookout for them but so far so good. This is my first year mulching with straw so I am taking notes and watching carefully. I'll definitely keep you posted!

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  5. Thanks so much for your reply.

    They have also seemed to have calmed down here. We went out last night and killed about a dz and another half dz got away. All and all pretty good since I haven't sprayed with neem recently. I understand soldier beetles eat them at one stage or another and we have more than last year so perhaps that is why we have also seen a decrease. I think we will use the straw for the tomatoes.

    Same here about the stink bugs, but we don't talk about it for fear they will hear us and come.

    I will be looking forward to your future posts!

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