Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Well Planned Bed

At some level, planning could be part of the foundation of a garden.  Our main planting beds are five feet wide and thirty-two feet long.  We were able to reach across the width when younger.  Now an occasional footprint in the soil tells of a rare step onto the garden soil.  The length allows for two twelve foot vegetable plantings in the center with four foot flower plantings at the end.   Like all plans this pattern is subject to change but it is our basic method.

Yesterday, two cherry tomato plants were planted in this bed.  Today, sweet peppers followed.  Space remained when all of the peppers were placed.  With many pots of overwintered lilies waiting for attention, it occurred to me that peppers, tomatoes and lilies might share this bed.

Easter lilies, L. longiflorum, were part of my youth.  A few years ago some were purchased at the supermarket after the holiday.  Our late frosts and this lily's dislike for cold limited our success with these bulbs.  Last fall many of our lilies were placed in pots that were sunk to their rims in the ground.  Frost protection was achieved by covering the group with a tarp on cold nights.  Our June 3rd frost found these lilies safely in our basement.  All pictured lilies came from one pot.  Three plants have buds.  The rest are growing from small bulbils.  We expect flowers and plan to try some winter forcing in 2012.

Forest floor litter was the source of the mulch that nearly covers this planting bed.  Hand tools, a wheelbarrow and a sifting screen with 1/2 inch square mesh produced this mulch.  It was not totally free as many of the flying forest creatures feasted on me as I sifted.  I do like the look of the screened leaves as mulch and they will be part of the soil by next season.

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