Straw Bale Garden Part 3: Growing

Since I planted in mid-May, it has been unusually hot and dry.  Unfortunately, straw bales do not hold water very well.  Last summer, with our usual afternoon thunderstorms, the bales were great.  This year the plants are a bit smaller.  I do water them regularly, but the would love a few days of dreary drizzling rain.

We do have tomatoes and peppers starting to grow.  We even have one almost ripe tomato.

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I also have some plants in pots on the deck.  Normally, I would have a hard time keeping those moist as well.  However, we often have a wading pool on the deck.  When we are playing out there son #4 (2 1/2) has permission to water the plants as much as he wants.  It’s a compromise, and it has worked out very well.  My indoor plants were suffering terribly because he decided they needed water every day.  To say the outdoor plants are thriving under the same care is an understatement.

We have lots of green tomatoes and lots of green and white peppers.  I’m waiting for the first blush of color.

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And we have a row of basil in pots.  It’s outside the garden because the deer won’t bother it.  And it’s in pots because it was just easier.  It looks like it is already time to make a first batch of pesto!  I wonder which kid wrote “15” on that pot, and why.

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The one big challenge I have had is cucumbers.  Last year they did really well.  This year a critter kept eating my seedlings.  By the time I figured out what the problem was and replanted (the third time) and covered them, the weather had turned bone dry and I wasn’t able to keep them moist enough to sprout.  I planted a fourth time in pots.  I’m going to finally transplant those in the next couple of days.  I also bought some pickling cukes in case the seeds wouldn’t start.  I managed to squeeze the extras in along the fence.

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