Our 2021 garden: bean beds ready

Temperatures were supposed to cool down today. I suppose they did, since we didn’t reach 30C/86F , however as I write things – at almost 7:30pm – the temperatures have dropped to 25C/77F, from 27C/81F, earlier. :-/ At least we did get a bit of rain early this afternoon; between that and the wind, it was enough that our seedlings that are being hardened off had to be brought back indoors. Still not the thundershowers we were promised. Those have been pushed back to the end of the week.

Then the sky cleared, and the heat returned. *sigh*

The crazy thing is, the weather system that’s coming our way has already brought snow and overnight temperatures of -5C/23F in other areas. Other zone 3 gardeners in the groups I’m in have been scrambling to save their gardens. Meanwhile, our long range forecast now goes as far as June 2 – our last frost date – which has an overnight low of 12C. The lowest overnight low before then is 5C/41F, an increase since the last time I looked.

Well, no matter. Today, we had to work on the beds for the beans, regardless of the heat. They can be planted any time now, since they won’t sprout until after our last frost date, so they should be safe.

We have three areas marked off at 3′ x 20′ (just under 1m x just over 6m). We’ve managed to scrounge enough cardboard to line one of the areas, plus a little bit more. The rest was covered with a layer of grass clippings, all of which was watered down before we started adding soil.

We will be planting double rows of bush beans in each strip. The trench in the middle is to help hold water. It turns out we can just manage to water even the furthest strip with the hose, so we won’t be needing to use watering cans from the rain barrel for these. Though we marked off 3′ wide strips, the soil is only about 2′ wide (about half a meter).

I’m tempted to go out and sow the beans now! I will wait until the morning, though.

The next area we need to work on is where the sweet corn and sunflowers will be going, which is to the left of the bean beds in the above photo. This is going to be the farthest we’ve had to haul soil, so far, and I’m still not even sure how we need to space things. We started half the sunflowers indoors, and none of the purple sunflowers have germinated yet. Only the Mongolian giants. Of the packets we will be direct sowing, neither have a lot of seeds in them (which is why I’d ordered two of each). So the areas needed for the sunflowers will be smaller. The packets of corn seeds, however, have plenty in them, so we’ll be looking at blocks at least the same size as the one the Dorinny corn is planted in, which is 20′ long by about 14′ wide (about 6m x 4 1/2m).

We have some calculating to do.

Either way, that’s a lot of soil that will need to be moved, and we don’t want to waste any of it. We don’t even have anything to put under the soil as a barrier and amendment anymore; not in any useful quantities.

Ah, well. We’ll work it out!

Meanwhile, on a completely different topic, while we were working in the garden, I got an email notification from a family member. It had a link to a news article. Someone in our little hamlet won a Lotto jackpot! I read the article and realized I know them! (The article only mentioned the husband’s name, and it’s his wife that I know from years ago.) I am so incredibly happy for them! It couldn’t have gone to a more deserving family! It’s also wonderful to hear that someone local has had such a great blessing.

Maybe I should start buying lottery tickets again? 😀

But I digress.

Time to go back to figuring out our corn and sunflower area!

The Re-Farmer

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