I had originally planned to get all of my plants outside over the weekend, but Mother Nature had other ideas, seeing fit to drop several inches of rain on us over the two day stretch. So the plants’ grand adventure didn’t really start until a little earlier today.

This morning’s overcast skies and cooler temperatures proved ideal to get things rolling while those plants that made their way to the overflow plot during lunch had a good bit of sun to take on as their journey started. Between the two locations, we’re looking at a total of 47 plants — down as planned over last year. I have a feeling, however, that an upcoming nursery run will add to the total, but not by much. I’m going to do my best to only pick up two additional plants if something sparks my interest.

This is the second year using the raised beds and not much has changed really since their inaugural run. That said, I have opted to install four fewer plants per bed this time around. There wasn’t an issue really with 12 plants in each, but maintaining them in that crowded space did get to be a bit of a hassle. I’m hoping the extra space between plants will make that easier, and perhaps, allow each specimen to get that much larger.

After staging the plants in the spots they will occupy for the next six or so months, each was given a three tablespoon scoop of Trifecta+ (a fertilizer blend from MIgardner). The combination of short- and long-term nutrients proved quite effective last year.

In addition to planting fewer peppers per bed, I’ve also decided to only roll with eight self-watering bucket systems in an effort to keep my overall total number of plants lower than last year. That said, I do have enough LeafGro and peat moss left for the last two setups if the need arises.

The overflow plot didn’t get occupied by pepper plants until a couple of hours after the home was all set. Luckily, I had enough time allotted to clean up the dirt a bit and remove a good number of weeds that had crept in over the past couple of weeks. The earth here isn’t quite as fluffy and nutrient rich as at home, so these plants received an extra helping of the fertilizer blend to last them a while.

After all the plants we in the ground, I still had time to sit and relax for a brief moment watching the new baby (weeks old now) goats playing with one another. I would have preferred to stay longer, but other tasks beckoned. I’m excited to finally have the plants outside, but will miss their presence and the soft glow of LED bulbs behind me in the home office. But that’s going to be short-lived as the 2019 hydroponic project starts this coming weekend. The fun never ends!