It's been a busy week of building, planning a transplanting at our household as we rework and expand our deck's little victory garden.
With the first round of transplanting behind us, we've perhaps formulated a better game plan for the second time around. Having had general success, there have also been a few bumps along the way, and we've figured out some things we might have done differently to allow for healthier & happier plants, which is great because that's really the whole point of our gardening endeavors - to learn what works and what doesn't.
I feel that every farmer or gardener I've talked to, no matter how many years' planting they have under their belts, never professes to have a complete and total understanding about growing things, as there are infinite variables. It's all trial and error and even what works one year might not work subsequent ones. Such is the nature of, well...nature! It's so cool and humbling, and also such a remarkable joy when things turn out they way you'd hoped.
So I thought I'd share some of our progress this week, which started with fashioning some new beds for our seedlings.
As you can see, it was definitely outgrowing this as well, so we relocated it yet again to a larger crate, and we also found something surprising in doing so - there were several arugula that had ended up with it from the starter tray. Both are growing really well, so they seem compatible enough.
Dan has become the resident handyman, though I am in no way adverse to this type of work. It just sort of happened that way. In any case, here are some more crates we were lucky enough to happen upon for free, lined with burlap to keep the soil in. (As a side note, we looked at over-the-rail planters and clay pots at Menards today and I am very pleased indeed that we decided to make our own. I have yet to sit down and figure out the numbers behind all this, but I would say so far the planting has been more spiritually fulfilling and less the practice in frugality that I thought it might be. Organic soil is not cheap! Nor are pretty basic planters.)
So one thing we've learned so far is that, when we transplanted our seedlings from their initial starter trays, we really should have put them in much larger beds, with greater space between each plant to better allow for growth. Originally, we transplanted the chard into the shallow crate below.
This time, we spread the chard over three different containers - I think they'll get pretty big.
We also gave our mint a whole lot more room to breathe and decided to put just one plant in its own container, as it is so wont to propagate wildly.
Here is the mint fairly bursting out of those tiny tomato cans we had it in:
And now with proper spacing:
We've done the same with the basil too, which is a sensitive herb to grow, and which we will be bringing indoors after our last fateful basil mistake.
I've also decided to take my lavender outside. It's been doing so well but the containers are just too small at this point. I'm a little worried because lavender can be finicky and requires a sandy, well-drained soil, so I hope it adapts to the humidity alright this summer. I'm not sure what to think!
Some of it has gotten really tall, though, and it just needs a larger environment to keep growing.
They tend to look sad immediately following the transplant, but I think it's just a shock to the system and they buck up relatively quickly.
At first the pallet garden looked like that, but all those herbs are coming along nicely now.
I want to start eating them, but Dan is practically equating this to infanticide. He is having some trouble letting go. I am banking on this wearing off in time, though I'm not so sure.
One more new addition: we built a trellis of sorts out of bamboo sticks and twine for growing green beans. We planted the seeds about a week ago, but haven't seen any growth yet.
I'm not sure it'll work, but it was fun to make.
So here it all is, ever-expanding and filling me with a nagging anxiety that the deck will collapse after a few more additions. But it's worth it.