Thursday, May 21, 2009

Planting out the tomatoes and weeding (again)

Saturday, May 16 was a lovely day at the garden. It was perfect weather for finally planting the tomatoes in their new beds. So far, we’ve set aside two beds for tomatoes and two beds for hot peppers and sweet peppers.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite warm enough to plant the hot peppers or the sweet peppers, so they went back into the cold frame for another week. One group of volunteers weeded (yet again) the tomato beds and then planted about 40 long-legged tomatoes, securing them to stakes and surrounding the beds with chicken wire to keep the rabbits out. The temperature was predicted to drop Saturday and Sunday nights, so we were hoping for the best.

Another small group weeded the flower beds just inside the gate, in preparation for planting cosmos, zinnias and calendulas. The native echinacea (purple coneflower) and rudbekia (black-eyed Susan) plants will be coming along later. (We're starting them from seed.)

Meanwhile, the rhubarb (beautiful big leaves in front of photo) and the raspberries continue to flourish.

As do the beans (on the right) and radishes (on the left) in the dodecagonal bed (you can see the two newly planted tomato beds in the background). The beets are still struggling along.

The daikon are looking leafy and there are a few carrot tops sprouting too.

The wine-cap stropharia mushrooms have been ordered. Mushrooms will be a new crop at Ginkgo this year. But...we’re still waiting to find out from the city when they will be able to deliver wood chips...

We've also started trying to ferment some comfrey leaves into fertilizer. We've got to make use of that ineradicable plant somehow. We dug out all the leaves we could find and put them into a container with a lid, and a spout at the bottom. Apparently, they are supposed to rot down quickly into a (possibly foul-smelling) liquid that is especially good for tomatoes.

Sunday's Chicago Cares crew got to work weeding (again!) and re-seeding the spinach bed, potting up the remainder of the plants that were brought over from the greenhouse at Kilbourn, seeding onions and more beets, and planting sweet potatoes!

Many thanks to Evelyn Y. for the photos this week.