The Garden, Before
The Garden, AfterI received my Mantis tiller (seen in the front bed, left side of photo) via UPS Thursday evening. Friday from 10 AM-2 PM or so I was a tilling maniac. By my count from the photos, I tilled seventeen of my 21 4 x 8 raised beds. My verdict on the Mantis: Best piece of power equipment I have ever owned. It's light enough to lift in and out of the beds, powerful enough to work through most grass roots, and easy to handle. I don't know how I gardened without it.
The one thing the Mantis won't do is dig out boulders and carry them off to some new rock garden. I encountered a surprising number of rocks in the garden beds, ranging from golf ball size to too big for me to dig up.
But wait, there's more! In the photos above, you can see 21 raised garden beds. I have an additional 5 raised beds for potatoes that are not shown. I did an inventory of my tomato plants today, and decided I needed a minimum of 9 dedicated beds for tomatoes. The most I have ever planted was six beds, at eight plants per bed. That would put a squeeze on everything else I could plant, so...I'm adding four more raised beds. Insane. And I'll probably still plant some tomatoes in containers.
So what are all these tomatoes I'm planting? I had to take inventory this morning, since I hadn't kept track of just how many varieties I started and transplanted to pots. I have perhaps a record 21 tomato varieties, all open pollinated heirlooms, and 74+ plants. That's not counting the ones I did not transplant from their little starting cells. Here's the list; most are chosen for being under 80 days:
Grandma Mary's Paste
Polish Linguisa (paste)
Taxi (yellow, of course)
Mountain Princess (Baker Creek lists this at 48 days!!!)
Cuor di Bue
Principe Borghese (supposed to be great for drying)
On top of that, I have nine kinds of peppers and three eggplant varieties. Insanity, I tell ya!
By the way, none of these tomatoes were planted out today. It's supposed to freeze tonight. More insanity!