Completing the Planting

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After you’ve laid the gardening fabric on top of the soaker hoses, the next step is planting hardened-off bedding plants. These are plants you set out for three or four days to get them acclimated to the full sun and the wind of the spring. In the photo above, the chile and bell pepper plants are in the foreground and the tomato plants behind them. There is a board in the middle of the bed to provide access to the tomatoes for the harvest. You cut a cross in the fabric with scissors, use a trowel to excavate some of the soil, drop in the root-bound bedding plant, put soil around the plug, and water immediately, The, when you are done, put red bark as milch around the plants. Then irrigate the bed with the drip hose. For the next two weeks, water each plant by hand every day, and irrigate the bed every three days. What happens is that you’re keeping the plants wet until their roots reach out and meet the irrigated sections of the bed, which are often uneven in the early days after planting. Eventually, irrigating the bed with the drip hoses once a week will be enough. Always keep an eye out for a wilting plant.