Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It must be spring...

Because my peach tree is blooming (lovely!) and I just planted my first row of Rattlesnake Beans (from Southern Exposure). Last year my beans suffered a lot from rust... I hope this year that it won't be a problem, since beans are otherwise such an easy and prolific crop. Peas are finally flowering and setting, cukes and squash have their first true leaves, tomatoes germinated poorly... eggplants not at all. But there's plenty of time before things get too hot here in late June.

I'm playing around with several ideas for containers this year, including buried pot-in-pots (seven-gallon "bunker" pot with a layer of compost, holding a five-gallon bucket) and some very large (tree pots... they must be forty gallons) filled with a fast-draining mix based on pine fines. My hope is to be able to plant, say, a large indeterminate tomato (they get ten feet here) or cuke, and surround it with another crop like lettuce or radish or chard (and, later in spring in summer, things like crowders and okra). Since the pot needs frequent watering, the run-off would be used by the surrounding plants, without the usual problems of root competition and poor airflow. I tried some variations on this idea last year, and it worked well.

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