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Monday, March 16, 2009

Soil Adjustments and Lots of Water

The garden is approaching a critical mass. You can feel it as you stand out there. Some of the plants have already crossed the threshold. They have gone from spindly sprouts of barely standing vegetable fiber into massive leaves and even in some cases opening flowers. The sunflowers are almost scary in the growth this past week. The same can be said for potatoes and beans. Snap peas are desperate for a trellis to climb. Today we installed one to make sure they didn't overwhelm the broccoli behind them. We also brought the sulfur granules to acidify our soil. Erica got the results from County Extension and they said our soil was 'sweet,' which would have been flattering if sweet was what we were after, but we need a much more acid soil, they say, to grow these crops. Today we mixed sulfur granules with water and then poured that water across all of our beds. I think we might consider tossing a few granules in the beds themselves tomorrow.

We looked to see where else we had spaces in the beds. Dylan and Erica transplanted the rest of our tomatoes and a bunch of the lettuce that was still in the greenhouse. They watered everything this morning. I returned at 2:45 and watered everything again. The soil was drying and the sun still had several hours of hot left in it. The sunflowers that Dylan and Erica transplanted at my suggestion do not seem to have survived. They are asters, not very sturdy because they grow so fast. Tomorrow I will pick up supplies to build a second compost bin and a pile of trellises that have been donated. There is still grass to kill underneath the mulch and there will be an increasing number of weeds, especially if the humidity stays around, but we have moved into a stage where a lot of watering and a lot of watching will be necessary. We probably need umbrellas for the picnic tables so that Eckerd College students do not burn out there. In all, a happy Monday in the garden. It is quiet without the kids coming around...

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