My first big task in Plot 22 was to flatten out the lumpy, dry soil and ammend it with manure. I was very lucky that the plot’s previous owner left it in very good shape. Many of the other plots had grown over with grass and weeds through the winter, requiring many back-breaking hours of labour to get them cleared. Unfortunately, the previous owner was planning to come back this season and had done some work during April, but he didn’t send in the paperwork to get his permit; I stopped feeling bad about that when I found out Plot 22 would have been his second plot, and his first plot is one of the largest in the garden!

In early May I attacked the garden with a rake and flattened it out. With help from my fantabulous boyfriend James, I laid out paths and planting areas. I would have loved to put in raised beds, but that would require a much larger budget! We ammended the soil with well-composted manure and tried to ignore the unwelcome criticisms of one of my garden neighbours (more on that some day when I’m up for some complaining!).

About a week later, we constructed a pea trellis:

Pea Trellis

It is made out of seven 6′ bamboo poles, fine nylon netting, and zip-ties. I hope it will be strong enough once the peas start climbing up the netting to survive the winds of summer storms. So far, it seems to be doing fine, even after the 100km/h gusts of last Friday night! The first pea seeds were planted along one side of the trellis May 19th, and the first sprout spotted a week later:

Pea Sprout - 28May2007

I planted a second crop along the other (North) side on June 9th. I’m hoping that will give me a second harvest a few weeks later than the first.

I’m growing Homesteader Peas (a shelling variety) and an edible podded sugar snap pea.

The first batch of gladiolus was also planted in mid-May, and will be followed by a second set next weekend.

Coming soon: Tomatoes!