I've been spending long hours working in the garden. We aren't going to be moving in any new tires this year, so I've been busy planting and weeding and mulching and watering the tires we already have in.
Smart gardeners in north Idaho know better than to plant a garden sooner than June 1 because it's often too cold and wet to do much.
Around June 6, I planted corn.
I have nine tractor tires dedicated to corn.
At three seeds per hole, spaced six inches apart, I was able to fit about 156 (give or take) seeds per tire. A quarter-pound of seed planted almost three tires.
This is what the corn looked like this morning:
Meanwhile Don and I worked on finishing up the deer-proof fencing. Here we're laying out field fence to reinforce some spots.
Don also ran a high-tension wire around the entire perimeter of the garden at eight feet.
We had a six-foot roll of chicken wire, so Don cut it in half...
...then I took the three-foot rolls and aproned the top perimeter of the garden, wiring the chicken wire to the high-tension wire.
View from on top the ladder.
The blueberry bushes are producing heavily.
I mulched the entire bed to help with water retention.
I also brought out loads of straw from the barn...
...and mulched all ten strawberry tires.
I packed the straw very carefully around each strawberry plant.
I found this colorful specimen on the handle of the shovel. Any arachnophiles out there know the species?
I got two rows of peas planted.
Then I went through and mulched everything.
Then I gave the peas a good watering.
I got eight tomato plants transplanted and mulched.
The herbs that over-wintered -- thyme, sage, oregano -- are growing luxuriously. I still need to plant rosemary and basil.
The horseradish (which also over-wintered) is huge.
I finally got all the viney tires planted (by "viney," I mean plants that vine out and sprawl). Some I started from seed, others I bought already started. In these rows I have pumpkins, watermelons, and cantaloup.
Yesterday I transplanted and mulched the broccoli...
...and the peppers.
The potatoes are doing well.
The raspberries are positively luxurious.
They've dropped their blossoms...
...and are forming tiny green fruits.
The garlic, planted last fall.
What's left to plant? Beans. I want to plant four types: green, navy, black, and pinto beans. Beans are fairly short-season so I've left them until last. I can't plant until I weed out last year's beds. As you can see, they're wildly overgrown with weeds.
You can see the dramatic difference the tarps and gravel has done with weed control. Here's a row with weed control:
...and two rows down, without.
The ironic thing about the progress we've made on the garden is I've discovered I'm allergic to hay. As in, handling it with my hands to mulch around the plants. After I mulch, I come down with a vicious itchy rash on my arms and face, resulting in puffy fingers, puffy eyes, and other issues. I think I'll have to restrict myself to handling hay with a hay fork while standing upwind. Talk about an occupational hazard!