We’re starting to get good canopy coverage in the keyholes, mostly watering from the center, the leaf crops (kale and chard) are surprisingly sweet–the best luck we’ve had with them. Snowpeas are ripening, purple bush beans are blooming, eggplant is doing what it’s supposed to do, and the tomatoes are dense, healthy, and not too tall, with blossoms–now to get them to set. Right now it’s just a pretty good garden, with the roots firmly established and drilling down. I won’t know how successful my keyhole construction is until July/August, when the rain more or less stops.
I finally watched Deb Tolman’s video and learned that many of the sites I used as reference are a bit sloppy or simplistic–I made a layer of carbon, a layer of nitrogen (3:1) and a layer of dirt (fairly deep). There should have been multiple alternating layers of each–at least two. My guess is the plants with deep roots like the tomatoes will dig down and go nuts. The others will get less fertilizer, some from the dirt, most from the compost bin. At the end of the year, I’ll likely dig out some soil and repeat a set of layers. I’ll watch the video again first, take notes, and make sure I’m following a slightly more scientific model (although it’s a model that makes a lot of intuitive sense).
In the front, the three zukes and, I think, a pumpkin are throwing their arms out, with the frontmost of the zukes (a yellow) ready to pick in a week or so and the back two successively less mature. In spite of soap spray, the caterpillars are still eating basil salad, although I’ve slowed them down (mixing a weak solution of dish soap and water)–I think the next round of basil will be in pots. Peppers (you can just see the top of a Gypsy lower center, left of the lilies) are, meh, a little slow, but I expect them to boom in the next few weeks. And the corn, well, we’re not in the sun belt, it looks very healthy, but it’s not much more than knee high. Perhaps in a month. I’ve given it some nitrogen snacks for encouragement (in spite of what Debby says, I’m sure they won’t ruin the corn’s appetite later this summer).
Thanks to my friend Steve who started me down the keyhole path and set the example with his own garden reports.