Friday, April 4, 2008

Transplanting Pole Beans with a Junior Helper

April 2, 2008

Now that I've given you all of the background on my extremely feeble and limited gardening experience, I'll share my gardening journey with you. Its doubtful that this will be a journey full of adventure, excitement and mayhem-but eh, its a gardening blog what did you expect?
I've enlisted the help of my almost 3.5 year old son, Red to help with the task of transplanting the bean and pea plants today. We found an "organic" potting soil compound to use-here he is "modeling" the soil and being tired of his mother trying to get him to make a nice face for the picture...

With limited funds we're opting to use a rubbermaid shallow bin for now-just to get a root system started on the beans. I need to scope out some 4x4 timbers at home depot and maybe rent a tiller to till up the hard clay dirt I have in the backyard in the next week or so. I really want to though, make sure the plants are hardened off and well established before I put them in the ground.

We will remove the skeletons from last years basil plants and use those plastic pots for the peas. I'll have to head to the store and pick up some more of these if possible this weekend. Walmart has them for about $.88 a piece-that's a steal. I can grow 2-3 plants per pot in the beginning stages.

Red being a wonderful little mini-gardener and removing the old basil skeletons and root balls:

We'll keep the pots and the bins on the deck for awhile as they need lots of sun in the beginning to really establish themselves and strengthen their root system and stems. Plus it helps to keep them away from too many critters and weeds.

We just put about 3 inches of soil into the bins and a bit more in the pots since they are taller and then hollow out a nesting area for the pods. Place the pod into the hole and then add about an inch more of potting soil and lightly pack around stems for support.

He seems to enjoy it, no? Boys love dirt. Fun while learning and discovering. He loves to come home everyday and see what the plants have been up to all day while he was away.

Right now with all the rains, I probably won't have to do much watering. In a few days I will pinch back some of the leaves. This will help to encourage new leaf growth and help the plants begin to branch out and mature.

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