It’s finally done!
Everything we started from seed has finally been transplanted.
At least, everything that sprouted…
These are all the pellets that didn’t sprout. The tray in the background was the squashes tray. I’d say most of those empty pellets are the gourds. The ones in the foreground are mostly fennel, with maybe a cucamelon or two.
It’s entirely possible some might eventually sprout, so I’m just leaving them out.
Today, both my daughters were able to help, at the same time! Things went very fast with three people working at once.
The first thing we did was transplant the cucamelons in the chimney block retaining wall. It had been our intention to bring up the remaining blocks from the basement, to use as planters in another location, but there is no safe way to take them out. At least not while the kittens are downstairs. So we planted them here, instead. With the ornamental apple trees growing nearby, they won’t have the full sun they should be getting. There are 3 metal posts I couldn’t take out, when I removed the fence that used to be here, so we will use them to hold a trellis. Hopefully, that will help them get more sunlight as they grow bigger.
The few fennel that sprouted were planted in the soil beside the blocks. All 6 of them. They are so leggy, I don’t know that they’ll even survive, but we’ll see.
That done, we moved on to the squash garden.
We had exactly 11 transplants, so we marked a spot in the middle of the row, then measured and marked out every 2 feet in each direction.
In this photo, each has been transplanted into its “pot” of soil mix, and we were starting to add the mulch. These would mostly be the zucchini mix and pattypans (it’s all a surprise mix now, after the tray got knocked over!), but some of them are the birdhouse gourds. We’ll figure out which is which, as they grow! 😀
I had intended to build some rather heavy duty trellises for the squashes, but things aren’t quite working out to get that done, so I picked up some bamboo poles. We’ll use them and, if I can find some, some plastic mesh instead of the chicken wire. The wire, I want to reserve for when I finally do make something more heavy duty.
After we finished mulching and watering, I set out the poles.
I’ve mentioned a few times, how rocky this area is. Just pushing in those flags typically involves readjusting a few times, to get around rocks we hit, inches into the soil.
When pushing in the bamboo poles, I made a point of pushing the narrower ends into the ground, as they were more pointed. I had to make several attempts on pretty much every pole.
Including this one.
I still managed to hit a rock hard enough to break the end off the pole!
This is how it looks now.
It’s hard to say how many of the frost damaged squash will survive, but I still put poles in to trellis whatever makes it. We’ve got the mixed squash on the far right and far left, three pumpkin hills in the middle, and now a row of mixed squash and gourds along the back.
And it’s all done! No more planting!
While working in the area, we also took the time to water various things, including the gooseberry bushes.
Which are not gooseberry bushes.
While cleaning in the maple grove, two springs ago, I uncovered several gooseberry bushes. They were not doing well, with the lack of space and sunlight from all the overgrowth and closely planted, some dead or dying, trees.
Last year, they started to recover, but with the drought, there were almost no berries. Of the few there were, I noticed they were much smaller and darker than I expected, but with the drought, that was true of many of the berries we had.
It was when I was going through the Vesey’s catalog that I saw photos of gooseberries, right next to currants, and realized these might not be gooseberries at all. The leaves look much the same, but the berries are slightly different.
When I had the chance, I asked my mom if the gooseberry bushes really were gooseberries.
Nope. They weren’t.
So what are they?
She had no idea.
My sister had brought them and planted them, but my mother did not know what they were. Since she didn’t know what they were, she figured they were poisonous (as if my sister would give her poisonous berries for her garden???), so she’d never tried them. I happened to mentioned I’d eaten some of the very few berries we had last year, and she was all “oh… you’re okay, so I guess they’re safe.”
So I think we actually have currants, not gooseberries.
This year, we’ve been better able to water them, and they are looking much better. There are lots of flowers, so I hope that means that, this year, we’ll have lots of fruit!
It had taken a lot of work, but we found quite a few fruit and berry bushes as we cleaned up many years of neglect. After a couple of years, now that these foundlings have space and sunlight again, they are all looking stronger and healthier. Hopefully, that will mean higher yields, to go along with our first attempt at gardening, since moving out here!
I’m looking forward to it. 🙂