Re-reading yesterday's post (seed stories, part 3) I am appalled and frustrated by the lack of detail. Somehow I was compelled to list all those varieties of flowers and veggies, leaving many loose ends to be picked up later and knit* into narrative.
Talking about cukes and beans also takes me back to space invaders, a post about monumental weeds. When I dug the confederate jasmine out of a small strip of ground along the back porch, I surmised that the space would be better used for these very veggies. This past Sunday, as promised, I returned (in Star Trek jargon) to "make it so."
Steve kindly removed the impacted old jasmine wood while I dug out rocks and root fragments, mixed in several gallons of compost, and covered the soil with my signature permaculture topping -- multiple layers of wet corrugated cardboard** plus a mulch of dead leaves including lemon grass prunings. How's that for garnish? A green wire barricade from Home Depot (well reinforced by Steve with leftover wire from the chain-link project) completed the installation.
A couple of weeks ago, I had planted poinsett cucumber seeds and 'yard-long' asparagus bean seeds in light-weight, narrow cardboard boxes . Marching single file down the middle of a plastic-wrap box and a ziplock-bag box, the tiny seedlings fit neatly between the permaculture layer and the porch's foundation, leaving room for Armenian cucumbers and maybe a bug-repellent marigold or nasturtium. I'm assuming that the new seedlings will be able to punch their way out of their boxes.
A Vegetable Companion Chart at GardenGuides.com suggests that cucumber will do well with "Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Corn, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Radish, Marigold, Nasturtium, Savory" while warning against "Strong Herbs." I could transplant a volunteer nasturtium or two into there today! Naturalized nasturtiums revert to their vestigial vining traits.
*'Pick up and knit' is actually a common pattern instruction. As I wallow in detail here, it seems that all my POSToccupations are merging into one. Or that I've grown tolerant of tangents.
**BTW I lavishly soaked the cardboard in rainbarrel water while pledging that this plot would not be irrigated with Colorado River water unless the summer gets awfully dry. We're talking about seven square feet or so -- probably not a major impact on the Metropolitan Water District's future when you weigh the imported water usage against the loca-voracious ecological ethics of growing one's own food.