The new garden experiment is: Miracle-Gro Garden Mix vs 1 part soil, 1 part Manure. Facing south, the left box is the Miracle-Gro, the right is the soil-manure mix. In the manure pile, there was some well aged manure (no smell, as opposed to the fresher, smellier variety that I’d dug, then dumped and left there) which I screened – one shovel full manure, then one shovel full soil, mixed well, and put into the test bed/box. Ran out of seeds before I finished planting the soil/manure box, so sprouting will be a little sparse there.
I find it is extremely easy to make a new garden experiment using boxes to separate the different soils. As these experiments are of the “home grown variety”, I have not separated the boxes with a barrier of soil between them as would be proper in scientific experiments. Once the frost has taken hold later (the later the better!) this year, I will see if the roots broke through the sides, which I doubt.
Planted broccoli for a late harvest (mid October, weather willing). We will see if it’s worth $5.00 for the mix – that smells of chemicals – or $1.00 in gas and a little shoveling. Also added some onions as companions.
The patty-pan squash are shading a lot of the garden now, so the thoughts I’d had of planting carrots – aside from my poor luck – have given way to thoughts of lettuce in the middle of the summer, shaded by the gigantic leaves of my favorite squash.
Added some Swiss Chard to the tomato plants in the boxes as companions, too.
Beans are starting to show all over, I’m going to have to bring out my clipboard and see which beds are producing the most. They’re all producing, so it’s time for fresh greens!
Some good friends of mine are growing papaya(!) – the person who sold them the plant said to just give them a good pile of manure and six months. I’ll arm-chair quarterback that one, but if it works, I may opt for some of that fruit this winter.