Just as planned this year, we decided on July 23rd to get ready for our fall garden. The hard part, the part it still makes me shudder to think about is that to plant a fall garden, we had to rip out the lovely spring garden I had just spent the last 5 months doting on. That is where the screaming tomato comes into it. Luckily for me, my hubby is heartless and ruthless and bloodthirsty (or is it sap thirsty?) and destructive and OH the horror of seeing my plants ripped from the ground. But it was all for a good cause. All of the old, woody, buggy, non-producing disease ridden plants were ripped up by that plant destroyer and once the dust had settled, I had three new sections of fresh soil to plant it. I'm sure I've botched the Greek history reference, but was it Machiavelli that said the end justifies the means? So in the end it was all clear for me to plant again.
After the destruction was done. I put the dead plants into the compost (and next to it, and behind it--there was a lot of dead plants) and then raked the old straw mulch into a big pile. The plan was to let the hot sun bake the garden for a few days in hopes that any bugs would leave before the new plants went in. Curtis took down the sun shade for me to accelerate the baking effect.
We let the garden sit for a week and on Sunday, August 9th, I shoveled, forked, hoed and raked the soil until it was loose. Despite it being miserably hot, it felt good to do physical labor in the garden again. All of my hard work paid off in a blister on my hand--interestingly enough, shaped like a perfect heart. Hubby said it was because "I heart gardening"...
Next step was to lay soaker hoses and re-do the watering systems in the fresh garden areas. I had purchaced three new tomato plants (Tim's Chery Tomato, ? and ? ), a Eureka cucumber, Fairy Tale Eggplant, two malabar spinach, and a packet of bush beans. The plants were placed in the south side bed (old potato area), the squash were planted in the west bed (old tomato area), the beans were planted in the north bed (old squash area) and the pepper and okra bed was left alone from the spring-hmmmm-- why is it that the only area that was not attacked by the plant destryoer was his own pepper plants? (this was planned ahead of time, the peppers look great and are still producing so they got to live through the attack).
I set up the 8 way octopus drip irragation system in the bed with the tomatoes and secured each of the 8 drip legs to the tomato cages and it hs been on a very slow drip since.
I ran a soaker hose in the bean and squash bed and planted directly under the soaker hose in hopes of maximizing the water usage.
Ahhh, fresh dirt!