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Garden Bins


I have six garden bins out the back door of my studio.  They are each about 7' in diameter and are raised so I don't break my back working on them.  Depending on the year, we may have 1, 2 or 3 of them planted with vegetables.  Sometimes I plant marigolds or purple basil to use as natural dyes.  One of the bins has always been planted with madder, also a natural dye.  Sometimes I plant sunflowers as a treat for the goats.  I have planted naturally colored cotton which is always a hoot.  

This year's start to the planting season has been problematic.  We have had cool temperatures this spring and plenty of rain - all nicely spaced.  It should have been easy to get things planted particularly since I had cotton seeds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds sitting here waiting for spring.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus struck.  With all the news of sickness and death, the worry about the number of hospital beds and how much testing was happening, I wasn't thinking about my garden beds at all.  I have discovered I'm a much happier person not listening to the daily/hourly/minute to minute updates on the pandemic.  I still pay attention but not constantly throughout the day.  I finally looked up and realized we better get some plants/seeds in the ground or we were going to miss all our planting.

By the time we were shopping for marigolds they were all gone.  Ron found several types of tomatoes, some yellow squash and onion sets but the choices were limited.

So here is what we've got.  Bin #1 is tomatoes.  Except the first night after we planted them, something got in there and ate three complete plants.  Now we have one lonely tomato plant.  Bin #2 is yellow squash and onions.  They are doing great!  Bin #3 is Sea Island brown cotton, Nankeen cotton and Red Foliated white cotton.  They came up quickly and seemed to have stopped growing.  Bin #4 is sunflowers that came back from seed from last years plants.  I'm planting more sunflower seeds every couple of weeks.  Bin #5 is flax, Mississippi brown cotton and Erlene's green cotton.  Also came up fast and seem to have stopped growing. Bin #6 is madder.  It looks horrible since the guys who cleaned out all the weeds also pulled all the madder out.  There are still lots of roots in the ground so I hope just keeping the weeds down will encourage it to grow.

Like I said, a problematic beginning to the planting season.  Of course, weeding the garden bins would help, too.