Right Bed, say hello to your new inhabitants.

As I’m sure many of you do, I have a particular way I like to do things. Oddly enough, I think that defaults into a particular way things should be done.

Years ago, I encountered someone who had decided in their marriage, that “should” was a dirty word. I rolled this thought around in my brainpan for awhile, and over the years, have done my best to remove “should” from as many aspects of my life as possible.

Enter gardening. Gardening, in our household, is my realm. It’s what I love. It’s what I read about. It’s what I decide. It’s what I do. But the more gardening has grown for me, the more space, and the more work, the more I’ve needed to ask for help. DH is happy to help. DH is not happy to necessarily do things “my way.” Oh, right. Sharing.

I remember just over nine years ago, talking with DH, and worried that with how much we talked about every little thing, that someday we would run out of things to talk about. DH assured me that day wouldn’t come.

So here we are, still finding new conversations to navigate. We made it through, like we always do, by donning our work boots, and wading through the muck together. Amusingly, with gardening, that’s as literal as it is metaphorical.

And look what we accomplished!

All of the henbit, all of the dandelions, all of the thistle, and all of the creeping, crawling, t-bar-rooting grass dug, discovered, and carried to the rubbish bin.

A quick dusting of sulfur, and we called it a day.

Then, on Sunday, I headed out late in the afternoon to finally let my tomatoes loose from their Sonic cups, and into the soil.

And then two days later, we had the biggest thunderstorm I’ve ever witnessed. The sky glowed lavender in the middle of the night. Thunder that lasted for nearly a minute at a time. Water literally pouring from the sky in solid sheets. The flash flood warnings had been up all day. The next day, the creeks raced one another to the sea.  It’s amazing what a terrible drought will do to your perspective. I don’t mind the rainy days this spring. I revel in them. I still don’t do well with two cloudy days in a row, and miss my sunshine when it happens, but will take every drop of water the sky wishes to give us, but look how happy the pond is these days…

So what happens when it dumps buckets on the freshly turned soil?

Beaten down baby tom-toms, and a cracked surface.

Thankfully, the community garden gods that be, delivered a new truckload of mulch sometime in the past three days!

That catches us up to…Wednesday.

Saturday, it was time to prep more of the bed to get ready for peppers. DH was responsibly studying at home, so it was up to me to get as much done as I could. In the three or so hours I was there, I managed to not get sunburned, water the squash, the melons, the beans, and the tomatoes again – and dig another 60 sq ft or so. My hamstrings (go figure) are still sore. But! The weeds are out, the earth is crumbly, and the worms were found. (Not that they were lost.)

That was it for Saturday, so when my borrowed shovel returned to me, I packed up the dog, my dusty self, and headed home.

Sunday was much less labor intensive, but I must say the heat is already pushing me to restructure my day to avoid the late afternoon. Sunday was transplanting my pepper starts from their Sonic cups (happy hour at Sonic, if you don’t have a Sonic near you, is dangerous) into most of the rest of the Right Bed.

DH and I had stopped by Green and Growing for some diatomaceous earth and mycorrhiza. The mycorrhiza made an appearance in each hole before laying the pepper roots in the ground. I just learned about mycorrhiza on an episode of Central Texas Gardener – apparently it is a beneficial fungus that creates a happy relationship with the roots of most plants. It enjoys the carbs the plant roots offer, and in exchange delivers minerals and other nutrients to the roots of the plant. It also is purported to help with water absorption which is always appreciated in this area.

The diatomaceous earth was purchased for a few reasons:

  1. Fire ants have invaded the crack between the sidewalk and the lawn, and also like to travel on the Right Bed’s border board. I’m allergic and have yet to boil enough water to kill them off or make them relocate.
  2. Supposedly it can help with other pests (caterpillars, I’m eyeing my chard since I can’t find you myself) so I thought I’d give it a try for that.
  3. And since I did remember to get some, and forgot to pick up more rock salt or bring a beer to the gardens, my nearly-demolished Soleil beans (and their neighbors) got a border sprinkle.

And so, the bugs were battled and the peppers were planted.

In planting the peppers and accounting for how many of each variety had survived my neglectful sowing process this year, I realized that in twelve pepper plants, I had zero bell peppers. Did I mention that I don’t eat tomatoes? Or hot peppers? So so far, the Right Bed is all for DH. I’m ok with that. It’s just kind of funny that I didn’t realize it until now.

Pepper Plants Planted

  • Anaheim (two)
  • Cayenne (two)
  • Chinese Five
  • Czechoslovakian Black (sadly, only one)
  • Fish
  • Jalapeno (three)
  • Poblano (two)

With twelve in the ground, I have room for at least three more in that area, and have yet to decide what’s going in to the bean spots when they’re finished, so perhaps that means I do get to go plant shopping after all!

And while I’m on the topic of seedlings I’ve killed so far this year, I’m fairly certain all of my ground cherry sprouts kicked the bucket in their secondary pots. If the tomatoes were happy, and the peppers were mostly happy, I’m not sure what went wrong, but shall try and try again.


7 comments on “Right Bed, say hello to your new inhabitants.

  1. I’ve enjoyed reading about your garden and gardening – I’m the gardener too (my partner is my builder and shifter when it comes to gardening!)
    I haven’t read about diatomaceous earth or mycorrhiza before so I appreciate the info.

  2. Jack Spoon says:

    I’m quite glad you share this with the world. I truly enjoy reading about it.

  3. Louis says:

    Of my nine pepper plants I’ve managed to get two bell peppers in the ground. I don’t think I’m going to find any use for the Thai chili, jai limon, or naga jalokla (ghost pepper) but I love threatening people with them. They don’t seem to ward off any bugs or critters. Stupid grasshoppers and roly polys eat them like there’s no tomorrow. I was hoping they would burst into flames when they bit into one.

    • plumdirt says:

      Ha! It would be nice, wouldn’t it? I’d be afraid to pick a ghost pepper, let alone eat one. Thai chili peppers can be dried and hung up for when you want a tiny bit of one for a soup or something.

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