Warm temperatures are finally here, and I decided to plant the warm-weather crops. The last frost date for our area is April 4th, so I'm a few days early, but I feel confident. The remaining plants are all heat-loving, cold-intolerant crops, with cycles between 60 and 100 days. So now is a great time to get them in the ground.
For this round of container planting, I decided to incorporate a solid plant food into the soil mixture. I don't know if I just forgot before, but I definitely did not. I added Espoma Garden Food 10-10-10 to a 1:1 mix of Ball Professional Growing Mix and Black Kow Compost. The package proscribes 1 pound per 100 square feet. Using what little arithmetic skills I have, I approximated my mixing vessel to be 5½ cu. ft., which would take 37½ grams of fertilizer. Unfortunately, this is a volumetric measurement of cubic feet whereas the original was a measurement of square feet, but I just decided to roll with it. I figured you can always add more food, but you can't take it away. Midway through the process, I upped it to 50 grams per 5½ cu. ft. And once I started on the melons, I upped it again to 100 grams. I was thinking the melons would need the most help anyways, being the largest fruit, so it probably wouldn't hurt. We'll see.
The melons were the most fun to plant. I created a mound and dropped 3 seeds in each hill. I have no idea what this shape does, but everything I read suggested doing this. I probably over-seeded the peppers: I formed a square with two seeds in each corner, then another square of one seed per corner. Maybe once they come up, I'll transplant the extras into smaller containers and give them away. I want a strong harvest of peppers, so maybe I'll find a way to make more room. I'm hoping I can keep two strong pepper plants on opposite sides of one pot.
I also uprooted and re-seeded the Pepper Cress entirely. This scattering is much more even and I didn't even bury them at all. I also re-(probably over)-seeded the European Mesclun Mix. I've been eagerly awaiting the first fertilization, so I was thrilled to finally be able to feed the Red Wing Lettuce, Mesclun Mix, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Cilantro a weak solution of Fox Farm Grow Big 6-4-4 liquid fertilizer; ½ teaspoon per gallon, two gallons used. Speaking of eagerly awaiting, a couple of cucumbers have started to peek some very large leaves above the ground. I'm wondering if I planted them too deep because these leaves are quite large and the stems are very thick. Next week, I'm expecting all of the cucumbers to pop up, and the pepper cress and peppers to start germinating.