Here’s another loop Texas weather has thrown our way.
My spinach seedlings have also begun to show buds. I snipped those off and, as seen on my IG feed, put out the rest of the leafy green starts, plus some bunching onions.
I also decided to plant out the nasturtium starts into the backyard garden beds. These are the Alaska, Jewel Mix and Black Velvet nasturtiums that I started indoors back in November.. I’m not sure what caused them start yellowing (too much light and fertilizer perhaps), but I can always start a new batch when January comes around.
With wet cold weather forecasted for the end of the year, I’m not sure if these young starts will make it outdoors. However, I’m just happy to get at least one salad harvest from current plantings.
Here’s a quick look at how the stock tank vegetable gardens are doing.
I still need to get around to planting my romaine lettuce starts currently sitting in the garage. According to one source, lettuce transplants should have 4 to 6 mature leaves and a well-developed root system before planting out. I’m not sure if temperatures will allow them to survive outdoors, now that we are ranging between mid-30s in the evenings, and 40s-50s during daytime.
I planted the 2nd stock tank garden bed about 2 weeks after the first, to stagger my production. I changed up the filler material and soil composition to see if ultimately results will comparable to the first tank.
End of the season watermelons went into building the foundational layer of the bed, along with stem and brush cuttings. I dearly hope that I’m not growing a watermelon patch in this tank.
In this bed, I used Raised Garden Bed soil, organic compost, peat moss, coarse vermiculite and perlite in different ratios compared to the first bed. I still broadcast Espoma Garden-tone fertilizer over the surface once it was filled up and ready for planting
As with the other bed, tank #2 has cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, dill and garlic aplenty. This time, I added bok choy and spinach starts. But of course, there wasn’t enough space to hold all the broccoli and brussel sprout starters I still had waiting in the wings. I’ve been discussing with the DH if we should get 2 more stock tanks to DIY into garden beds, but of course the limiting factor will be patio space.
All planted with the winter garden! I left a 12″ square open for the next batch of bunching onions, spinach and lettuce I’ve started from seed. Meanwhile, I plan on using that bouquet dill shortly.
If you haven’t checked out my IG feed, I posted some pictures of my stock tank garden beds.
These took a couple weeks to build and assemble. I purchased the stock tanks on sale at Tractor Supply Company. I originally wanted to go with the 2×4 tanks, but the size and sale price of 2×6 tanks made them too attractive to pass up. Of course, their size meant we had to rent a truck to haul them home. Luckily, we still had other yard projects that required the rent-a-truck to transport supplies.
Due to their size, I knew these tanks had to be mobile. Especially when filled with soil and water, they’d be a challenge to move around on my patio. I purchased 3/8 carriage bolts, heavy duty casters off Amazon and some waterproof stain. The stain was to seal the lumber on which the casters would be mounted. Finally I had to wait a week to get in an order of 5/16 galvanized threaded bolts, washers and hex nuts…because none of the local home improvement shops had sufficient quantities in stock to buy.
While I waited for the hardware to arrive, I drilled drainage holes in the bottom of the tanks. This required some titanium bits and some wrist strength, as drilling into steel can cause the drill to torque. I then marked out the area where the casters would be mounted. I was banking that 2 pieces of lumber would be enough to support these tanks upright.
I then secured the lumber to stock tanks using 3/8 carriage bolts, washers and hex nuts. Once the 5/16 hardware arrived, I was then able to drill and secure the casters to the lumber.
I then sealed the lumber and the inside of the stock tanks with silicone to prevent water seeping into or leaking into wood. It’s important to have the lumber last as long as possible since I depend on these supports to move these tanks around the yard and patio.
Once everything was drilled and sealed into place, it was time to get the tanks onto the casters and filled.
I lined the bottom with leftover landscape fabric then threw in 2 bags of lawn trimmings and cuttings. Afterwards, I layered in organic raised bed soil, compost, vermiculite, peat moss and perlite, adjusting as needed to get proper drainage. It’s quite an upper body workout to till and turn the soil media,
I had quite a number of dill, kale, lettuce, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower starts, along with some lettuce seedlings I began indoors. In between the rows, I also stuck some garlic cloves, which took no time to sprout. Unfortunately I have way too many plants to fit in one of these tanks, if I stuck to the square-foot gardening method.
With one bed planted, I realized my new starts needed a little more sun. So I moved them to the east side of the pergola. Even with casters, the tank was almost too heavy to move on my own! I’d like to get more of these stock tanks, but size and mobility are definitely going to be deciding factors…likely I’d go with the smaller tanks next time.