Saturday, April 19, 2008

Soil in the Growboxes and Some Herbs Planted - 2008 Garden Update #2

Yes, that's a huge pile of dirt! If you saw my first garden update for 2008, then you know about the Growboxes I now have in my garden. Getting them filled with soil was the job for this weekend. The easiest way to my garden is down my neighbor's driveway, and I guess they remembered how I share my veggies because they generously let me have this huge load of compost-enriched topsoil delivered there on Friday night. The soil really was this black, and the fun was just beginning.

These two handsome guys are my nephews Jake and Matt who spent three hours on Saturday morning helping haul topsoil back to fill the boxes. It was quite a job, and I couldn't have done it without them!

I was amazed the huge load of soil actually did fit into the boxes. We did use a tiny bit to spread on beds along a fence where I'm going to plant my tomatoes.

After it was carted back to the garden in wheelbarrows, the soil had to be spread around. You could use a rake . . .

But sometimes it just seemed easier to spread it around with your hands . . .

We also got in the box and stamped down the soil with our feet, which was pretty effective.

In Utah most garden veggies should be planted in early May, but I did find a few herbs at the garden center and decided to risk planting them.

Side view of the herb beds with flat parsley, rosemary, tarragon, and curly parsley planted. I also planted four packages of basil seeds. Of course I'll also buy a couple of basil plants because I never can be patient enough to wait for the seeds.

Yes, this is evidence of my slightly OCD personality type, but I just adore those little sticks that you write on to label your plants. This year I found sticks of very light balsa wood, since I hate the plastic ones! Can you tell it says "Tarragon?"

Here's a slightly cropped view of the growboxes, with the new herbs in the front. Tomorrow I'm going to plant some Rainbow Carrots and Swiss Chard seeds, and if the weather stays warm this week, I'll be looking for more veggies to plant. Still interested in plant suggestions from other gardeners, so let me know in the comments what you like to grow if you have a garden.

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23 comments:

  1. I want it all -- your grow boxes, your brand new soil, your helpful nephews, your tarragon! Now I'm itching to start planting in my garden, though herbs and veggies are a few weeks away.

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  2. Wow that is mighty incredible! You are headed for an incredible garden! Any cold nights, a simple bucket or a pot over the plants should protect them.
    Wish I had all that space and those neighbors!

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  3. Hi Kalyn. I have a very small balcony here in London but I do my best to grow what I can! You are so lucky to have this space, it looks amazing. I can't wait to see how it grows and develops. As far as plants, tomatoes are a must for me! I love them and so easy to grow and exciting to watch them develop. I'm sure you grow those already though. Do you grow rocket (arugula?) It is unbelievable easy to grow and it just keeps coming back. I love growing chillies and sweet peppers too.

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  4. I got the main part of my garden planted this weekend. This is what we planted...

    29 tomato plants
    11 assorted pepper plants
    3 zucchini
    3 yellow squash
    3 armenian cucumber (seed)
    3 spaghetti squash (seed)
    rainbow swiss chard (seed)
    green swiss chard (seed)
    spinach (seed)
    lettuce (I tried one of those seed tapes this year)
    A flat of marigolds scattered around to keep the bugs away.

    Later when it gets warmer I will plant okra and green beans.

    I love your grow boxes and your composted soil is beautiful.

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  5. Kalyn,

    Another option for your plant tags is to cut up an old, vinyl mini-blind and write the names on them. Tags forever, and ever and ever.... :)

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  6. How exciting!! And that soil looks amazing!! I can't wait to see what it produces!

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  7. Very nice, Kalyn. That soil looks great. And it is nice to have hands helping with the job. I also planted some tarragon and a bunch of kale. But spring seems to be still sitting on the fence.

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  8. Can't wait to see more of your beautiful bounty!! We just started some new seedling in some recycled whiskey barrels we found for $20. These are our "growboxes" for the season!

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  9. Lydia, I've seen your fantastic kitchen, so maybe we can work out a trade!

    Thanks Tanna and Helen, I'm very excited.

    Anonymous, sounds like a great bunch of crops!

    Donna, don't have any mini-blinds, but it is a good recycling idea.

    Tabatha, it's the best soil you can buy (and not especially cheap, but I consider it an investment.)

    Simona, thanks for the idea of kale. I've never grown that.

    WORC, love the idea of using whiskey barrels! (Much cheaper too!)

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  10. I want your backyard! I am so envious! Looks fun and rewarding!

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  11. what a huge garden you have, really envy you, heh. I stay in an apartment so I can only keep a few pots of edibles along the corridor. Wishing you a good harvest! :)

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  12. Rainbow carrots! I ordered a couple of different kinds of carrot seed this year, and one was rainbow (mostly to freak my three-year-old out). Your boxes look great. We've finally been able to start to turn some dirt here this week (VT)... all is good. :-)

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  13. Yes, I am very lucky to have such a big back yard. Rich, I might be as excited about the rainbow carrots as your three year old is going to be!

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  14. We'll be ordering soil later this week. Wish I had handsome nephews like yours to help me :) (Mine are just 4 and 8, so way too young:)

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  15. It's times like these I wish I had a garden! :) My mom's got a pretty big backyard. She grows all sorts of vegies and herbs and they seem to just thrive and thrive (unlike my puny efforts in pots on our balcony).

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  16. This year I'm trying a little bit of everything, but to me the new standouts I'm trying are fennel and tomatillos. I have no idea how they'll do, but it will be fun experimenting.

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  17. Gorgeous garden an such handsome helpers!

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  18. Yeah Kalyn, when I came to your page and saw that picture I thought it was some kinda Oreo crumb dessert. Good thing I didn't come to your house, you would find me out back munching the dirt pile...

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  19. this is the first i have heard of rainbow carrots. after reading about them here, i did a little research and want some of my own! i live in utah too...can you tell me where i can get the seeds?

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  20. What a fantastic garden area you have! That is wonderful.

    I'm a big fan of those stick labels too - and they're invaluable the following spring for people like me who can't quite remember which perennial herb was where. (It means I won't dig up something I shouldn't be digging up....)

    You mentioned in my comments section that you had planted Greek oregano and Italian oregano and how differently they tasted. I wonder if people in your area are the same as here. The Italian immigrants insist that "summer savory" is oregano and always label it as oregano.

    -Elizabeth

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  21. Porter family, I got the seeds at Smith's Marketplace on 4th South.

    EJM, haven't heard of savory being called oregano. The Italian oregano I have (not in the photos on this post) looks a lot like Greek oregano, but the leaves are more shiny.

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  22. If the leaves look the same, then it sounds like oregano alright. I don't know that I've ever seen anything but Greek oregano at our garden centre. And at the corner stores that sell herb flats, I have actually been corrected when I've pointed at summer savory and said how great summer savory is with steamed green beans. The proprietor will smile and look at me pityingly and say "that's oregano in that pot". :-D

    I've just been recently reading about artichokes that can be grown like annuals - they fruit in the first year. (Green globe?? Your garden centre might know) I think they do take up a lot of room but wouldn't it be cool to go out to the garden to harvest your own artichokes?

    If we had any significant sun, that's what I'd want to try!

    -Elizabeth

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  23. Hi Kalyn,
    You are going to so love those raise beds. What a beautifully ordered garden! Just remember that raised beds tend to try out more easily, so you have to keep an eye on the watering. I just got some cheapo water meters to help me keep an eye on mine. Very useful.
    :-)

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