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Week Six is really a major milestone for my garden. Thank you for following the progress and for those who have engaged me with questions. I’m so humbled to have any knowledge at all to share, and have far to go. What a joy to learn and then see the fruits of learning when things work out. I hope it is helpful and look forward to learning from your gardening adventures as well.

A lot has changed here in the last week, and now the garden is a pleasing and a happy place for me once again. Each day after my work is over, I have a cool evening to casually pot my seedlings in either containers or in the raised bed, and I am now finished with the tomatoes. I have over fifty plants now, and that was my goal. I’ve potted up eight or nine bell peppers in containers and am looking forward to getting the final raised bed prepped for corn. We are probably too late to sow corn, but hey, its my young son’s choice and we will at least get some stalks and it will look good growing over there.

I tidied up my potting area and have used an old shipping palette to make a platform on which I will eventually keep my fig tree cuttings (I will need two of them). It always feels good to organize and get work spaces in order. This northerly facing side of my yard has traditionally been just a compost pile and two of our beloved dogs were buried here, but other than that its been pretty much wasted space for twenty years. Its nice to put it to use.

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I work at home, so that brings with it the benefit of being able to walk in the garden and keep an eye on moisture when I take a break from study or design work. Moisture is the key to keeping these plants productive through the summer. I have added a layer of mulch to the top 2-3 inches of each container, and will be trying some container saucers to form reservoirs around some of my pots. These things are, however, exceedingly cheap and flimsy, so who knows how long they will last. I won’t start using them until keeping the soil moist is a critical issue. That will be when we have extended periods of days with temperatures in the 90s.

You will notice that there is hay everywhere on my main beds if you pay attention to the images. Many gardeners will expect that I have committed garden suicide using hay for mulch. Check out my video here, its Coastal Bermuda Hay, it doesn’t seed up the soil. It also smells good and adds a nice carpet to the path between the beds. Those who have used it say its good stuff.

The vegetable garden is, then, going well. It is now a matter of tending them, staking the ones that need it, and weeding and waiting. The next major milestone is fruit. I’ve added a few little pots and containers or herbs to cook with, they always add color and lushness to the patio:

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Fruit

On other garden fronts, I have fruity plans in the works. I will be planting three varieties of Muscadine grapes and training them to a wire and post trellis. These plants have not yet shipped, but I am eager. I’ll have a whole series over the next three years on these vines as we establish our micro-vinyard.

You might know that I have a thing for figs too. I love the trees and how they look; I love the way the huge leaves feel in the hand; and I love the way the whole plant smells sweet and aromatic. I also love good figs. I have several varieties but have planned to add more so that at any given time I will have a dozen small fig trees either potted or in the ground. The goal with figs is twofold – I love them and want to eat figs. But also, I want to make them part of the long-term funding plan for my garden. I want to get my existing trees and my new trees strong and old enough so that I can propagate new trees from cuttings. These I will sell, using the proceeds to pay for my gardening upgrades. I will be rooting my first twenty plants (five different varieties) from a series of cuttings that will arrive in a week or two. That’s the plan, at least.

Here’s a pic of the Ischia Fig as it is today, and our new Blueberry bushes I speak about in the video:

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I will add various posts and videos about the techniques I use for gardening, how I will train grape vines, how I will be rooting fig cuttings and various other topics as they come up. I will also add some videos abut the various creatures we discover amidst the vegetation, its always interesting.

I’m very grateful to be back into my garden and things are rolling along very well. Have a look at my video update for week six thoughts and musings.

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