Have three weeks really passed since our last Cockamamy blog post? Time flies when you’re digging in the dirt! And that’s exactly what we’ve been up to. Digging in the dirt (or mud as was the case last week) on 50 degree days and 80 degree days, going old school with hand tools while the tiller is in the shop, and trying to find homes for a greenhouse overflowing with baby plants.
These last few weeks, we’ve planted potatoes, cucumbers, acorn and spaghetti squash, and cauliflower in the garden. Here’s a bird’s eye view of the roughly 50×50-foot plot from our upstairs window.
The really green beds on the far left are (from bottom to top): radishes around the perimeter of a bed of beets, carrots, another radish/beet planting. The next column from the left are (from bottom to top): mixed European baby greens, spinach, and another mix of lettuces. Surprisingly we also have several pumpkins vines and volunteer tomatoes from our compost and the mound of dirt we planted in last year (Ben incorporated the pile into this year’s bed). Right down the center are the potatoes, both white and sweet. On the right, you can’t see the just-sprouting squashes, cucumbers, and recently transplanted maters. The green patch on the top right is popcorn, and fence panels at the edge will soon be heavy with climbing beans!
It is crazy that this huge garden isn’t spacious enough to hold all that we want to plant. Yesterday, we created this 20×20-foot bed next to the greenhouse.
This one is just for tomatoes. 44 of them to be exact. 6 varieties. We started 9 varieties in the greenhouse. And we plan to plant about half the number we have of each variety. We hope to sell our plant starts that we aren’t able to get in the ground. So, if you know you live near us and are interested in $3 starts, message Cockamamy Farm on our Facebook page and we will be glad to share the wealth! Here’s a look at a few of them:
We also have more than 100 basil starts (long story). The majority are Dark Purple Opal Basil. Such a gorgeous color!! And they have the same flavor and scent as the popular Genovese Basil—what most of us use as fresh basil, in pesto, etc. Here’s a peek:
We have a good number of Thai basil, as well. They are smaller than the Opal right now, but they will be big soon! Again, let us know if you are interesting in having some fresh basil at your back door (that’s the definition of the good life, if you ask me). If tomatoes and basil aren’t your thing, stay tuned the the Facebook page for news about other plants in need of a good home.
Anyway, back to the new tomato garden bed…
Ben started by laying out this huge piece of black plastic and anchoring the edges with random pieces of leftover barn wood and rocks.
Next, he used a plate as a template to cut 12-inch circles in the plastic at 3-foot intervals.
Next, he used the post hole auger to break the sod and dig a hole in each planting space.
Then, we planted each tomato start.
After we got all 44 tomato starts in their new bed, we needed to find homes for more squash plants: Table Queen, Sibley, and Tennessee Sweet Potato squash. We decided to place them on the hill between the driveway and propane tank. The hill is a sunny spot that is particularly difficult to mow because of its steep pitch. So, why not?
18 squash plants, spaced 6 feet apart, should cut down on our mowing quite a bit!
We also, a few weeks ago, got creative with our propane tank. We dug a small bed and planted Purple Podded Pole Beans in front of it, then gave the beans a place to climb with some pieces of hog panel fencing wired to the tank for stability.
Another space for climbing bean plants: Near the road where a telephone pole and street sign are about four feet apart.
Who ever said your garden has to be in your garden? I mean, we aren’t called Cockamamy Farm for nothin’!