Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How to move a garden pt. 1

I went out to my garden today to water it after my absence. Daily watering is blessedly done by the other woman of the house, but the garden needs some deeper watering love to truly thrive. So while I was sitting outside scratching dog ears and making plants happy I stopped to take stock of the work that will be involved in transporting this garden across town and transplanting it in a new (and as of yet non-existent) garden.

The tomatoes are laden with the first crop of succulent juicy fruit--both the romas and the regular slicing varieties. Those will need a pot each--which I luckily have laying around from past years' annual plantings. The corn and smaller plants like the radishes and bunching onions will all fit nicely into a long windowsill planter, and the beans... well... they will manage there once I remove them from their wire supports. The lettuce and squash/melons will take some more ingenuity and patience since they tend to be picky about movement, but I should still be able to pot them and be fine.

The biggest problem by far is the lack of new garden at the new property to actually transplant the babies. I would love to just pluck them from the ground and immediately plant them the same day to prevent undue stress on the poor guys, but that just doesn't look like it is going to happen. On the other hand, if I get crackin' early and start building the new bed NOW... well tomorrow really... I will have time to still set up the new beds and only have to worry about transporting the plants instead of interim storage in pots. I have grand plans of making a much bigger bed--or beds--for the plants at the new place, but that involves much more dirt, compost, and building materials than I have on hand. To be exact, I have NO dirt and very little compost. Here in the high desert, there is no soil, only sand and rock. And caliche which might as well be concrete ( Caliche is made up of calcium and other mineral deposits that set up into an all-natural shovel-proof inpermeable layer). All the dirt has to come either expensively pre-bagged from the store, or in a more economical large truckload from 70 miles away. The same goes for manure and compost, but I may be able to use some of my own compost as well.

I love gardening, don't get me wrong, but actually building the plot for the plants is the easy part--buying and mixing the filling for the beds is the hard part here. I am expecting to lose some of my plants to the move, but I am avoiding the heartbreak of simply abandoning a garden when it is mid summer and flourishing. Thinning the seedlings is hearbreaking enough for me, I don't think that I could manage losing an entire crop. I am hopeless like that...or eternally hopeful perhaps is a better way of looking at it--hopeful for the healthiest and best mature garden that I can manage (really I hope for the happiest garden around since happy gardens make a happy me!).

On that note, it is time for me to go off and dream of building the new garden... or of whatever randomness that my brain manages to pop up for the night's entertainment.

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