Since early spring, when I last posted the snow melted & we were behind the eight ball trying to get the gardens in & the yards cleaned up from winter.
Its been a slow crawl into real spring weather & summer has been slowly crawling in too. Hopefully the gardens will produce well.
I've done a number of things to test the theory I have, that I need to bring different environments to my garden zone. So since tomatoes & peppers prefer dry roots & heat... (two things we aren't have naturally in South Dakota) I've elevated my tomatoes in tires, with a 8 inch base of broken concrete & debris --- then a layer of mulch, mule manure & top soil.
To determine if its really any different from traditional method, I've also got some "control" tomatoes that I planted on the same day, that are in the soil with landscape cloth around their base & tomato cages surrounding them. They get the same water, just have different rooting opportunities.
The tires also provide heat as they absorb the sun's rays & "bake" the zone with added heat.
I've also planted peppers in containers since often container gardens suffer from needing more waterings... I figured perhaps this negative issue could be utilized in a positive manner.
I've also planted fennel in containers & some of my herbs. This year, I've planted all my sage in containers since my garden patches mysteriously died though they were hundreds of yards from each other.
I've got broccoli, cabbage and Kholhrabi all doing great this year with the cool spring and cool June weather.
My corn crop was eaten initially by something and few of the seedling made it, so I had to replant. Luckily the replanted corn is almost knee high and as they say "Knee high by the fourth of July" is the old measure of whether your corn is going to be successful.
Dakota Stoneware Pottery shop owner, Dave Huebner, gave me the use of a portion of his former mule corral to plant some of my corn & squash, so I've got two different gardens I'm overseeing this year. Will try to get photos uploaded as soon as possible.
I also successfully started my vertical lettuce garden. Its in a 6" deep wooden "trough" that I made from scrap boards and covered with hardware cloth following me filling it with peat moss as a medium.