Home > Dirt, Growing Season, Tomatoes > Hit the Ground Running

Hit the Ground Running

Rototilled Garden

Rototilled Garden

I came home to a surprise on Monday when I rounded the corner on the windy dirt road which I live. I looked up at my huge garden and noticed it was a different color then I expected. I was looking for a white coating over a freshly mowed green field; What I saw was a patch of brown without a trace of green. I immediately knew the garden had been tilled, but this is not what I was expecting. My mind had been filled with different scenarios for tilling the soil starting with asking a few neighbors to borrow their tractor, or hiring them to pull our rototiller. When I rounded the corner I knew I was off the hook, and could move on to planting. I have some very helpful family members to thank for this outcome, as they arranged the whole thing.
My Sun Baked Soil

My Sun Baked Soil

Here is the soil I start 2011’s garden in, with remnants of last years corn stalks mixed in.  This is the soil that I’ve worked with for four years, adding manure, bio-char, lime and the remnants of camp fires at every turn. I gawked in amazement at the edge of the garden for a moment after returning from my nine to five.  After a few moments in the hot sun I knew instantly that I must begin today, and not wait for my vacation to begin. I have some days off next week from June 4-12, and had planned to begin then. Instead I grabbed my garden attire, visited the greenhouse and left just as soon with trays of plants in my hands ready for a new home in the sun.
Amish Paste, Brandy-Wine, Cherokee Purple, etc

Amish Paste, Brandy-Wine, Cherokee Purple, etc

I’m using rolls of weed blocking fabric to ease the work load, and also to speed the growth of these plants. The black color of the fabric tends to warm the soil, which in turn makes the plants grow faster. It also prevents the weeds from stealing vital nutrients from the soil. I started the planting with Amish Paste, then Cherokee Purple, Brandy-Wine, and eventually San Marzano Tomatoes. I kept at it till 9:30 at night, finishing with some rows of lettuce in the area behind me.  I finally made my way to the TV by 10:30 after watering the rest of the plants in the greenhouse, the herbs in my rock garden, and washing off the layer of mud my skin had accumulated. When I got to the TV there was nothing good on anyway, I should have put in another hour of planting !

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