Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Planting Day

On May 15th it was go time over at HooCoo (you can read HooCoo Part II here). Planting Day dawned bright and warm after weeks of cold and rain. The Viceroy and I walked over to the plot around 10am and he began tilling a few spots that needed some more attention. Our weapon of choice: Atilla the Hun
otherwise known as a Troy Bilt Bronco Tiller--and it bucks like a bronco when you hit a brick. Ask the Vic.

The MP and I busied ourselves with transplanting the tomatillos, red and hot peppers, and cilantro in the first section. Here's the before shot:
 And (almost) after:

Just as I had one row to go in the first section the neighbor kids showed up and wanted to help. Junior grabbed his shovel:

His sister Shay Shay and I convinced him it wasn't really the right tool for the job. So we let him borrow ours and I taught them, along with their sister September, how to transplant baby plants.

As I dug the last hole for the last pepper plant I hit a brick. Most gardeners would be annoyed, I was thrilled. A few weeks earlier while I was on baby duty inside the house due to cooler temperatures V, MP, and the Chief Tilling Officer labored outside and dug up over 20 cement blocks and red bricks. I felt left out. But my time had arrived.

The first shovel full of dirt revealed it was a big cement block, not a dinky little brick. Bring it, brick! I dug and dug, attempting to get my shovel underneath it. I kept digging. The others stopped and offered to help, "No, no, I've got this one!" I waved them off and dug some more. There were children watching. I had to show them how this was done.  Finally I unearthed a slim, broken piece of cement covering a hole!
 The top cement block is cemented to the one underneath it. No one's digging this one out even if there are kiddos watching.
Brick: 1.
Officer of Various and Sundry Details: 0.

The rest of Planting Day finished without a hitch or embarrassment. In the second section, beginning in the foreground, we planted pumpkins, then two rows of Dragon's Tongue green beans with some more pumpkins sandwiched in between, eggplant, and way in the back peas are growing.

In the third section, we planted cucumber and zucchini (with some dill as a companion), Bountiful and Empress bush green beans, pumpkins, golden and red beets (cumin as a companion), two more rows of red peppers. (We also have some carrots growing in the very back.)

The fourth section we have our Bonus Patch (a new section of the garden expanded from the previous year) full of zucchinis and then our tomato plants and basil encircled by marigolds. Quick update on the tomatoes--the cut worms have been wreaking havoc. We fought back with corn meal and it seems to be keeping them at bay. MP has been hardening off a second planting of tomatoes (hoping we'll have a constant harvest instead of the tomatoes ripening up all at once). We'll see if the worms come back for more. (And if the tomatoes come in waves.)

In the fifth and final section, never mind the Vic, we tried the Three Sisters technique--an experiment. The Three Sisters consist of corn, squash, and pole beans. The pole beans grow up the corn/the corn functions as a pole, while the squash covers the ground keeping it moist and free of weeds. Theoretically. I'll keep you updated. We planted two sections of Three Sisters and then finished off the rest of the garden with Indian Sweet Corn. Can't wait for that...

In addition to the 50 potatoes, 200 onions, some peas and carrots; at the end of the day we planted 140 corn seeds, 100-130 squashes (butternut, watermelon, zucchini), 30 tomatoes, a few dozen peppers, a couple hundred beans, a dozen eggplant, five tomatillos, a couple dozen beets, basil, cumin, cilantro, dill (and marigolds!). That's over 550 plants in seven hours filling up our 1500 square foot garden. Isn't that big enough to call a farm? CooCoo instead of HooCoo perhaps?

There's no way we could have finished in that amount of time without the Duke and Duchess of Diaper Duty:
And a special thanks to the Duchess who provided lunch for us! Thank you, thank you, thank you! (Anyone else think there's a resemblance between Grandpa and Granddaughter?)


  1. what a bold undertaking! my kid looks like my dad too. but yours is a girl. :)

  2. Joel wishes you had planted some whole grain goldfish. He likes those.

  3. Hey little buddy! I'm sure we have some extra room somewhere--your wish is my command! Whole grain goldfish it is!