Bigger garden and a cuke ladder

My garden math is still right on. I had a mulch pile that I guestimated at 2CF. I also guestimated that I’ve added about 60SF of plantable space to the garden (plantable space doesn’t include space between rows). That would compute to an 8-12” layer of mulch on the new space and sure enough, just as Aristotle himself would have calculated, I used the entire pile of mulch and covered the space perfectly. So now I have another half cooked pile about the same size which will be ready for the big October plant and an empty bin to start collecting rough material for a January load. If I had the veggie thing down as well as I have manufacturing the compost, life would be sweet.

You might wonder why I need more garden space if the space I have already produces more than we can deal with. Good question. What happens with a smallish garden is that you end up having to plant it 100% out if you want a good variety of crops. The problem with that is that even though you have different varieties, most stuff falls in the 60-90 day plant to pick cycle so everything comes ready for harvest at nearly the same time. With a larger garden, you can plant on a stretched schedule and still keep a nice mix of varieties. For example you could plant a third of the garden every 3 weeks, planting more or less the same varieties in each planting to keep a steady, plentiful flow.

When creating the new space, I also took the time to work in a cucumber area for September plants. You have to plant successive crops in totally different areas each time to eliminate crop specific problems. You know, the crop rotation thing. I had an old, rickety 6′ step ladder that I retired last year after it almost killed me. I’ve placed that in the garden to provide a spot for the cuc’s to climb. With the ladder spread so that each leg is a climb point and two 8′ bamboo rods leaning outward from the open ends, I can support 6 plants nicely. Six plants will provide more than enough if they survive the ‘canes and critters. I did it now while using up the mulch pile so I could add a nice deep load of the rich organics for the cuc plants. I also did an underlay of newspaper again since that seemed to ward off the nematodes last season.

Tried something new in the eating dept. When we were in Costco we picked up a product called Flatout which are wraps, as in sandwich wraps. I opened the pack to try one and a pamphlet fell out with some interesting ideas for using the product. Turns out you can use the wrap to make a pizza like dish – they actually call it thin crust pizza but I think that’s a stretch. One recipe used mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes and chopped basil marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette. I cranked up the Holland while Nancy mixed up the ingredients. You toast the wrap for 7 minutes on the grill then put on the topping and grill for another 7 minutes. I certainly wouldn’t call it pizza but it was a really tasty appetizer or something to accompany a nice red. There’s an interesting sounding Tex-Mex thin crust pizza which we’ll try when we round up the ingredients.

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