Satellite Garden

May 21, 2008

I spent four hours at the satellite garden this past long weekend putting in asparagus, two types of potatoes, watermelon, cucumbers, pumpkin, squash, corn and zucchini. When I was finally done, the garden looked like this:

FIRST ROW

In the first row I planted 56 sq.ft. of Peaches and Cream corn (16 seedlings in peat pots and the rest by direct sow). The southern end of the row was already planted with 12 sq.ft. of Watermelon radish, 12 sq. ft. of Paris Market carrots, 24 sq.ft. of Melody spinach and 24 sq.ft. of Laurentian rutabaga.  This row is now full.

Here’s a shot of the Watermelon radish popping up:

And some of the Melody spinach:

SECOND ROW

In second, middle row I started to dig trenches for the potatoes across the 4′ width. It was pretty annoying to have such short trenches that after the third one I decided to switch my trenches to run length-wise. I dug these trenches down to the cardboard layer, gingerly piling the soil on either side of the trench to keep it from falling back down. It took me an hour to trench the area, wetting down the dry soil to help it keep its shape, bending over with my feet in the side trenches trying to create the middle trench. It was back-breaking work and I was glad when it was done. In this middle row I planted 20 sq.ft of mid-season Yukon Gold potatoes (in the three short trenches), 66 sq.ft. of early-season Norland potatoes (in the long trenches) and 24 sq.ft. of 10 two-year-old crowns of Jersey Knight asparagus. The second row was already planted with 6 sq.ft. of Cylindra beets, 6 sq.ft. of Detroit Dark Red beets and 6 sq.ft. of Purple Top White Globe turnip.  This row is now full.

To prepare for the potato planting I had cut up 2 kg of early season Norland red seed potatoes and had let them dry out for a day. Here’s a picture of them when they were whole in their box:

Man, they really want to get into the ground and start growing, check out the growth on those eyes! I also picked out some of these mid-season Yukon Gold potatoes from the local nursery store:

You can really see the difference between early- and mid-season varieties. Yukon Gold has a yellowish buff and finely-flaked skin with light yellow flesh. They have excellent storage and are good for boiling and baking. My parents really like them so I decided to give them a shot.

The asparagus had to be trenched at a depth of 12″, however, I decided to go to the cardboard layer, a depth of 6″. I spread out the roots and back-filled the trench to cover the crowns with 2″ of soil. Once the spears start to grow I’ll back-fill the trenches more, harvesting the spears next year. Here’s a shot of the asparagus:

The Purple Top White Globe turnips are coming up nicely:

THIRD ROW

In the third and final row I planted two seedlings of Citron and Moon & Stars watermelon, two seedlings of Boothby’s Blond and Smart Pickle cucumbers, two seedlings of Jack O’Lantern pumpkin, one Bottlegourd, one Canada Crookneck squash and two seedlings of Black Eel zucchini.

I planted the two types of watermelon and cucumber at opposite ends of the row in hopes that they won’t cross-pollinate during blooming so that I can save some seeds for next year. I also wanted to have these garden space hogs near the edges of the row so that they could spill out onto the grass once they start spreading out.

Here’s a close-up of the north-end of the row with Citron watermelon in the foreground, the Boothby’s Blond cucumber in the middle and the Canada Crookneck squash in the upper right:

The lone Bottlegourd mid-row:

And south-end of the row with the Moon & Stars watermelon in the foreground, the Smart Pickle cucumber in the middle and the two Jack O’Lantern seedlings in the upper left:

There’s still a crazy amount of room left in the third row and I’m going to have to figure out what else to put in there. I still have to put in some yellow bush beans and maybe some more zucchini and beets. I’m thinking about maybe picking up some Brussels sprout seedlings from the nursery too.

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One Response to “Satellite Garden”

  1. Amy Says:

    You’ve done an amazing job getting all of this planted. What an incredible harvest of yummy stuff you’re going to have! I’m feeling very envious of your huge veggie bed 🙂


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