It’s true, we finally kicked the kids out of the house over the weekend. I’m talking about the 80+ garden plants we had growing in the basement under the grow lights. It was time that they headed out to their new home in the garden.
Along with getting the garden ready, I wanted to change up our cucumber trellis this year, and decided to use chicken wire and some metal garden stakes to build a nice sturdy trellis for the cucs. We are planting two rows of cucumbers again this year, and they can now grow up the chicken wire.
I spent the entire week last week hand carrying up each and every plant to spend some time out in the sun to harden them off. One by one they were carried upstairs and sat in the sun for the first time for only a few minutes. When you start to harden off your plants, here is what you have to do: Day One, the plants head outdoors for about 5-10 minutes. You watch them closely and when they look like the leaves are starting to droop, you take them back inside. Day Two, you hand carry the plants back outside for a little more time in the sun, still watching their leaves as they react to the sunlight. Day Three, again they head outdoors for a little longer time in the sun. Day Four, the same, as the time increases and they get used to the heat of the sun & wind. Day Five, the plants should be used to the sun, heat and wind and are ready to finally plant in the garden.
After a grueling week of doing nothing but carrying in and out all of our plants, they are now ready for their new home for the season. We built a second raised garden to accommodate all of our extra plants. Like I have mentioned before, we learn from our experiences and we love sharing them with you. What we noticed last year, is that when our tomato plants grew, they blocked a lot of the sunlight from our row of peppers, so we decided that this year we needed to build a second raised garden to plant them in. Problem solved.
Building a raised garden bed is not hard at all. We headed off to Home Depot and purchased the wood and the hardware to put the bed together. A Home Depot associate cut the wood to our dimensions, otherwise we would have never been able to bring home the wood in our car. We are thankful that they can do this because it sure made our life easier. When we got home, we went to work and constructed our new 6′ x 5′ raised garden. (Our first raised garden is 6′ x 16′)
The next step is to install the weed barrier inside the new raised garden bed. I found it at KMart at a great price too. We just stapled it to the inside of the new raised garden to prevent the weeds or grass from popping through the garden. Once this was completed, we waited for our delivery of garden soil from a local nursery. We filled wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow with the garden soil and filled up the new garden bed.
The garden is now ready for some plants! In our first raised garden, my Sweetie had already planted two rows of leaf lettuce and after only two days, we saw the lettuce already popping up through the soil! WOW! We put a nice layer of Miracle Gro Garden Soil on top of the existing soil, as we have heard it helps the plants grow nice and big.
On the last day of hardening off our plants, I decided to just leave them in the garage overnight, so I did not have to carry them all back downstairs, since they were heading to the garden the next day. We carried all the plants into the garden area and started placing them in the garden where we wanted them, making sure they were evenly spaced.
The first plant that I planted was a pea plant. I love these little plants as they are so adorable. I got some great advice on how to grow peas, and placed a nice green 3′ garden stake next to each pea plant so they can grow up the stake. We even have a few pea’s blooming now too!
We had a lot of work ahead of us as each and every plant made it into the garden. Lots of wine was consumed during this process too!
Here’s my Sweetie planting the cucumbers! Also, as you can see in this photo, we are also adding more soil to our back bed as this is where we will be planting all of our Connecticut Field Pumpkins, some Red Warty Pumpkins, Cantaloupes and a few more tomato plants.
I also painted a second mailbox and that is the first thing you see when you enter our garden area, and I planted a Portulaca in the mailbox that has started to bloom.
We are so happy to finally have our plants out in the garden, and I am happy to have the laundry room back to normal without having to walk around tables of plants too.
Welcome to your new home plants! This is where you are going to live for the next few months and feed our family & friends! We will tend to you on a daily basis, and we’ll keep you well watered in the hot days too. We can’t wait to see our total of fresh veggies we pick from our garden this year! Thank you Sweetie for purchasing all the seeds & soil for our garden, as we could not have done this without you.
I love playing in the dirt! If you don’t get dirty working in the garden, then you are doing something wrong. Don’t worry, it washes off. Stay tuned for all of our upcoming garden tips & tricks and what we learn from our garden season this year.