Wild Gourd Farm

Organic Gardening in St. Louis City

Sunset Hills Garden: Planted

We finally got a chance to plant the bulk of our tomato plants for this season. With the help of Eric’s parents we planted 45 tomatoes and 11 pepper plants, along with basil, marigolds, and calendula, in our Sunset Hills garden. To prevent grass and weeds from filling in, we laid down burlap coffee sacks (free from a local coffee roasting company, thanks to Backdoor Harvest for the idea) between the rows to be planted. We’ve had a long-standing battle with invasive grass at our Iowa Street garden, so we’re hoping this extra step will help.

We dug holes and added crushed egg shells for calcium and compost for nutrients. We plant our tomatoes deep, usually clipping off at least the bottom two sets of leaves so that about half of the plant is buried.  Roots will grow off the stalk underground and provide stability and strength.

We tried to schedule our planting later in the day, when the shade begins to spread over the garden, but before it got too dark. It was still quite hot, though, so I was busy on water duty. I watered each plant deeply once planted and poured additional water around plants that began to wilt in the heat.

We probably won’t be hand watering much the rest of the season- we’re planning on laying out some soaker hoses (scored for free off Craigslist) and hooking them up for deep watering about once a week, or more often when needed. We’d use a battery-powered irrigation timer, but it’s not our property and the water set-up is less than ideal.

After everything was planted we spread three bales of straw around the plants to help retain moisture, and on the pathways to deter weeds and grass.

The deer fencing kept the deer out before we planted everything, and we’re hoping for continued success. For added protection, we hung some draw-string bags I made out of an extra burlap coffee sack and filled them with dog hair. Fingers crossed!

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One response to “Sunset Hills Garden: Planted

  1. Gardening Tips June 6, 2013 at 7:14 am

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