Year one - dissect my plans, please!!
So, my husband and I decided to start a garden this year. In the spring, we grew 4 varieties of tomato, mostly from Home Depot, and grew them in 5 gallon buckets. Pretty good yields, and we learned the joys of BT and caterpillar crushing.
We are ready to go with our fall garden. We have beets, butternut squash (see previous post about the stinkin rain), carrots, okra, black eyed peas, lima beans, sweet peppers (left from spring, in 5 gal bucket), and are attempting to get tomato seedlings started from direct sown seeds.
For the above veggies, we have constructed 3 different raised beds and added Mels mix. We have BT, soap spray, blood meal and bone meal on hand for when it's needed. The HARDEST THING we have run into (other than the caterpillars) are the tomato seedlings. I have tried peat pellets, a variation of mel's mix, and now have resigned myself to direct sown or bust mode. If these don't survive, I plan on going with the tasteless hybrids at HD that come in pots. I got my maters to sprout with blue solo cups placed on them upside down, and had 100% germination rate. My Black Krim's sprouted, grew 2-3" each, and then died. The Sungold's, Brandywine, Beefsteak, and Sweet100's have done beautifully so far, but I'm wondering about all this rain and our new buddy Isaac that's come in. The seedlings are OK so far, but they've been in the ground for 3-4 weeks and don't have any true leaves yet. Can they be damping off? Should I be spraying them with some type of foilar spray? Should I scrap the plan and head to Home Depot before it's too late? What do you think?
Also, my beans are looking good except for the holes from the caterpillars. We've taken care of the caterpillars but the lima's haven't produced any fruit. Should I be hand pollinating them?
Also, do any of you grow fall tomatoes? I'm stoked for another chance with them this year, and in the ground vs. buckets. If I can't get them to grow though, I will be so sad!
Thanks in advance for any advice you want to give!