Watering My Seed Rows And Transplants

Watering my seed rows and transplants with a watering can is the funnest part of gardening for me. As soon as the seed sprouts get tall enough to fall over I drag a furrow along both sides of them so I can walk along and fill it with water that doesn’t run off away from the plants. I get to do this every day for awhile. The transplants get a mote around them so the water encircles them. I hate when they fall over by my watering them, so I’m careful not to hit them. When they get established I’ll put an overhead sprinkler on them and inevitably some will fall over. Sometimes I’ll put a small rock at the base of the fallen ones and prop them up. Small plants laying on the ground are easy for pill bugs to chew on. I think pill bugs and sow bugs are responsible for them falling over too. I can come down to the garden in the morning and find them down because the bugs climb up the stems to eat the more tender leaves.

This is the time of year I get to eat tomatoes as if they were apples. Planting more than you think you want results in your eating more than you ordinarily would. This is a good thing for your health and well being. Tomato juice on the front of your shirt is like a gardeners merit badge. The cucumbers and zucchini are so plentiful that I put a cardboard box in the tack room and marked on it to” help yourself”. Every other day it got filled until someone took the box too. Now I just leave the produce in plastic grocery bags. A friend of ours leaves items that are going to thrift stores at the end of his driveway with a sign that says “Free” on it. Someone took the sign 🙂

My Early Girl tomatoes are twice as big around as the ones I picked last year. I used to eat 5 at lunch but 2 is filling now. The only thing I can think of that I’ve done differently is to mulch with loose hay instead of flakes. The flakes absorbed the water that was intended for the plants roots and restricted the air flow to them. Weed suppression mulching is a whole different thing than plant mulching. I thought the flakes would be a one time and I’m done mulch. It turns out that 3″ of loose hay will last the whole season too, and benefit the plants rather than hinder them. I also learned that my pride and joy soil does not contain enough nitrogen for cantaloupe plants. I stopped fertilizing them when the vines began creeping into the pathways thinking they now had access to abundant nutrients. I was wrong. They are stunted. Melons the size of softballs. Mea Culpa.

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