Monday, April 18, 2011

Gardening: Dollars and Sprouts Update

My obsession continues. I spent a lot of time in the garden this weekend hauling cinder blocks and building the raised bed for the strawberries.
Soil mix for vegetable containers: $48 (I used my ten dollar Lowe’s coupon)
Seeds: $10
Plants: $15 for 25 strawberry plants and 6 heirloom tomato plants
Cinder Blocks and Peat Moss for the Strawberries: $22
Grand Total: $95
My original estimate was about $150 to start the garden. I’m still well below my estimate. I do however need to contend with the blueberries. After building the strawberry bed, I didn’t have it in me to haul 25 more cinder blocks and do the work on the bed. The blueberries still seem quite happy in their 1 gallon containers so I’m putting the work off to next weekend. Also up on my list is building the trellises for the tomatoes, cucumbers and peas. My estimate is that it will cost about $50 to build the bed for the blueberries and another $20-30 for the trellises.
Here is how my garden in shaping up this week. Twenty-five strawberry plants are now in the ground. Some had already started sprouting leaves. All but one looks healthy and happy in their new bed.
My three sisters garden is off to a bit of a rocky start. I have about six or more sunflower seedlings sprouted. Some evil animal chewed off the leaves and pulled the first three seedlings out by the roots. I have about six or seven corn seedlings sprouted. I mounded up six hills and transplanted the seedlings from the shady area. Last night, perhaps the same evil animal or another knocked down and dug out three of my corn mounds. I’m going to have to stay up all night and lay in wait for this garden intruder. I’ll also have to do some corn mound restoration and replant those hills.
My six tomatoes were looking a little worse for wear. The lower leaves were yellowing and turning brown. I treated them with some organic vegetable fertilizer. They still seemed a bit peaked. I was digging around in the container to see if it was a moisture problem when I discovered that the roots were still wrapped in some kind of paper. I dug each one up and unwrapped them. I’m hoping they’ll perk up soon. My four cucumbers sprouted and look strong. The lettuce is growing slowly. We had a little heat snap this weekend. It’s cooled off again so I’m hoping it will pick up. The radishes, eggplants, peas, and chard are all chugging along in the planters. The bean teepee is looking good. The plants are about 4 inches tall. They’ve been chewed on a little but look otherwise healthy. I planted some flower seeds all around the outside of the beans. They have sprouted too. My summer squash seeds that I planted in the six-pack have sprouted. I need to get their final placement in the garden decided and build up their little mounds too.
I never get tired of going out to the garden and looking at everything. It amazes me how one day there is nothing but bare soil and the next several little green sprouts have emerged holding their new leaves up to the sun. It is beautiful.  

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