PLANTING OUR GARDEN (AQUAPONICS)

Tuesday was such a good day.  I surprised my husband with all day babysitting for three of our kids and we took off to do all of our shopping.  Yeah, not the best date ever, but those of you with kids understand how hard it is to go shopping with them!

We headed off to Costco and Walmart to do our normal grocery shopping then stopped by home for lunch before heading out to the nursery I’d previously mentioned I wanted to go to.  It was a beautiful place but it didn’t have any of the plants we needed!  There were a ton of herbs so we did pick up several of those (including Mint, which my husband wants to brew into tea…yum!).  We browsed their seed packets and picked up quite a few of those.  But we really wanted the tomatoes, bell peppers, cantaloupe, watermelon, squash, and strawberries already started.

We decided to head back to Walmart to pick up those plants and guess what? They didn’t have any of the melons or bell peppers we wanted. Sigh.  We trucked on over to Lowe’s and picked up the rest of our desired plants as well as scooping up an egg plant and a Jalapeño plant.  Overall we got everything but it did take a lot longer than expected.

So, this morning we got up bright and early and started planting.  First we had to decide exactly what beds to put all our plants into so we shade the right ones and give full sun to the right ones.  Also, since some of our beds are at chest height, we needed to make sure we could reach all the plants for care and harvest purposes.

After all our discussions, we started sowing the seeds!  The plants in the dirt pots had to have their roots rinsed out before we could transplant them into the garden beds.

By the time we were done with the planting our garden looked so cool!  We knew that we needed to string up some trellis over the edamame and the peas so we hunted through our yard for some scraps to do that with.  Simple!

We did use the hose and water the tops of the beds.  That seems weird in an aquaponics system, I know, but the intent was to make sure that the top rocks are wet enough that the seeds can start to germinate even though they are not sitting in the water.

By the time we were done we had:

two grow beds of corn

one bed with strawberries, a row of leeks, and peas

one bed with tomatoes, egg plant, two squash plants

one bed with bell pepper, two squash plants, and a row of edamame

one bed with bush bean plants

and our last bed has edamame and lettuce.

We are frequent visitors of EcoGro, a local Aquaponics store.  The head guy joked that we must be going into the production business. We joked back that no, we just have 5 growing kids.  He still seemed to think we would have a lot of excess food.  If that is the case, I’ll be glad to preserve some of it and maybe I’ll trade with friends!  I am very excited to watch this garden grow. Its already so peaceful, keeping the windows open and listening to the sound of the water running…