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Vegan Garden page 3

2000 Mar 29

In went the sweet peas today. Check out page 8 to see how some climbing peas looked, after a few weeks of growth.

The bush peas: they went into a bed 33 inches wide, by 20 feet long. Some compost. Some lime. I added a source of a tiny amount of boron. Just a little urea, and just a little sodium nitrate. Some 0-44-0 (phosphorous) and some 0-0-60 (potassium).

The pea seeds were sowed in double-rows: the first row 9 inches from the left edge of the bed, the next row 15 inches from the first row, and the right edge of the bed 9 inches from the second row. The second bed will be the same, 9, 15, and 9. There will 18 inch path between the first bed and the second bed. So the left row of the right bed will be 36 inches from the right row of the left bed. 

The peas seeds were spaced along each row at 9 seeds per foot. 9 x 20 = 90 pea seeds per row. I sowed only one bed today. 20 feet of double-row, same as 40 feet of row. I will try to sow the second bed tomorrow.

I sowed 4 feet of Burpeeana, 4 feet of Little Marvel, 16 feet of Maestro (early), and 16 feet of Maxigolt (mid-season).

Soil for the entire garden was initially prepared with a rear-tined, walk-behind tiller, a full-sized old-fashioned Troy Bilt. I recommend a BCS. It has a more modern design than the Troy-Bilt. The year I bought by Troy-Bilt, the Troy-Bilt and the BCS, that year, had identical Brigg & Stratton Engines. The engine is the weak part. The transmission and tilling tine system are rugged and dependable on both devices. However the BCS has a better design. It should last longer and need less maintenance. Lots of tree leaves were tilled in. Soil pH was measured and appropriate amounts of lime were added. Later, plants that need higher pH got more lime, and plants got nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium according to their requirements.

After plants were established, weeding around them was done with specialty shallow hand-held weeders. Basically just blades attached to handles, at a good angle for shallow soil cultivation and weed removal. Weeds were either pulled out, or cut off just below the soil surface. I'll show you more info when I get a chance. I had one that you bent over to use, and one that you used standing up. The bend-over model was very precise. By attending to weeds shortly after they germinated, before they got more than a few inches long, it was easy to pull them out or cut them off. Most of them were just turned over and left to decompose right where I pulled them out. Those that re-established themselves, were simply pulled out or cut off again. I actually enjoyed the weeding. It was a relaxing task. Sort of like grooming a living person, only it was living land, not a living person. I actually always looked forward, to getting out in my garden, and grooming the soil.