No-dig garden update, 3/12/06
This garden was begun 43 days ago on October 22. The tallest tomato plant (Beefsteak variety, at right of picture) is now five feet tall, having grown about two feet since my last update ten days ago. There is more sun at right, hence the taller plants. We now have about 20 tomato fruit varying from about marble size to billiard ball size, and lots and lots of flowers. Today I pruned a lot of lateral shoots (to give more energy to the fruiting branches) and also pruned lower branches which have no fruit (to allow air to get in and also just to add vegetation matter to the soil around the base of the plants, as mulch to keep down weeds and keep in moisture). I also staked a large lateral (at far right of picture) which is strong and has plenty of flowers so should give us food. Using thin strips of cotton material cut from an old T-shirt, I tied up all the tomato plants higher up the stakes as the plants are growing so tall.
At the far left of the picture is one of five mini-watermelon plants we have planted, and the only one climbing on a lattice, as the others are starting to run along the ground. We now have watermelon flowers, so bring on the bees! Behind the tomatoes are sweet corn, also nearly five feet tall now, and in the mid-foreground are (left to right): Italian parsley, dwarf beans, beetroot and lettuce. I ate lettuce today, the first product from the new garden. In the absolute foreground of the garden, the new part that is no-dig, the layers of paper, cardboard, manure, spent mushroom compost and garden clippings have killed the lawn base and composted to such an extent that it is now possible to plant in it, and we have planted about 15 potatoes -- some large and some a smaller variety. I didn't buy seed potatoes, I simply cut kitchen potatoes into four to six pieces and planted them. The small spuds were already sprouting, but I had one beautiful, big, fresh spud that I cut into six and planted. I hope that if you check back in two or three weeks you will see healthy potatoes growing.
The last update was November 23 and the first post was on October 22 in the Blogmanac when Remy and I created the garden with less than three hours' work. You can read the October 22 link if you want to know how to make a no-dig garden -- free, healthy, great-tasting fresh food the easy way. I'll be back with a new update in a week or two. :)