Saturday, February 27, 2010

Spring is here, I think

Noticed on the way home from work this evening that the Willow trees are greening up. Also have Tulips budding out.
Was lazy last night (Friday), no gardening done, bad me. I'll blame it on the rain.
Saturday - Lovely day. Didn't start out that way, just above freezing this morning (ice on windshield of PU) and pea soup fog. The fog lifted about 9:30 then the sun did shine. Temperature got to low 60s.
I filled the water line ditch about half way then built the support for the valves . while I did that the number 2 son was digging of the secondary water line .

Thursday, February 25, 2010

There Be Cabbage Here

Oops, forgot to post that I had planted some cabbage seed on Sunday evening. Planted 16 seed in 8 pots and Wednesday evening they were up, 11 out of the 16. Those will be put in bed 2 as soon as I get water available (by Tuesday, I hope). There are 4 rosemary up now.
Still digging ditches for water lines. Raked bed 2 and added some more composted manure to it.
A friend at work gave me some Strawberry plants today. Had to find some where to plant them before they died, so filled a couple of buckets with soil and compost to plant them into temporally. I have an idea for a small planter for their permanent home. Will work on that after work tomorrow evening.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My weekend doings

Monday - Was cold in morning, frosty. Got side tracked on computer so didn't get out in the garden until late in afternoon. Got the mower run again (reconnected the starter rope) then ground the leaf pile. Now have second bay of composting bin full. Planted 8 pots of cabbage in the evening.

Tuesday - The weather cooperated today, was cloudy over night so it didn't frost. Went to the local Lowes in the morning to pickup some t-posts to put the wire fence on (in the background of lower picture). Also picked up a package of Swiss Chard seed to plant, if this keeps up will need to add another bed (LOL). Then spent the afternoon
  • finishing the ditch for the main water line
  • adding the last bay to the composting bin
  • spread 5 bags of the manure (white bags) on the 2nd bed (the one under the cardboard). Going to add 5 more later, then will get a couple of yards from the garden supply, as per Annie's Granny's suggestion, for the rest of the beds.
  • Added some greens to the leaves that were ground up last night.
  • Started the ditch for the first branch of the irrigation system. Thats the pile of soil in the foreground of the top picture.
  • Dug the path between then 3rd and 4th beds (lower picture)starting the 4th bed.
  • Spread the cardboard to cover the weeds in the area intended for watermelon, cucumbers, squash and cantaloupe(background of lower picture). The rocks on the cardboard are to hold it in place when the wind blows, which it will.

Wednesday - It rained over night, temperature 35f this morning, no frost(Yay). It rained therefore the wind blows. The cardboard on bed 2 blew off, good thing DW was home to put it back and anchor it with some BIG rocks. Though the temperature was in the low 50s the wind chill is nippy. Now have 3 sprouts of rosemary. Checked the new compost, its getting warm.

Monday, February 22, 2010

First Sprout !

Oh Joy, the first sprout of the season. If you have a problem seeing it, it's the green speck at the left center. LOL
Not much going on outside. Dug the ditch for the supply line to the garden irrigation. One end was easy digging but the other is a pain, its a stone patch. Two summers ago the septic drain field failed because of tree roots. In replacing it, most of the top soil was buried and the stones brought to the surface.
Got the mower running this evening. Shredded the pile of leaves that was moved a few days ago and placed them in the composting bin. Have some grass that needs mowing, so will add the clippings to the pile and turn it all.
Weather is cold again, mid 20s and frost in morning, warming to low 50s in evening. Sky is clear again tonight so will be the same tomorrow though Weatherman says it supposed to rain tomorrow night.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Tale of Gardens Past

In the mid 80s I grew a small garden. In this garden I grew bush beans, onions and potatoes (don't remember what else). The onions were a Spanish yellow type from sets. They got to 2 inches or so and were very pungent. The beans multiplied about 10 fold, not a great success.
The Taters, oh the taters are a tale. I grew two beds (4 X 12), one bed planted in ground, the other under straw. They were both planted in staggered rows, 12 inch spacing, the in ground 4 inches deep. The mulch planted ones were half their diameter in the ground, then covered with 6 inches of straw. As the summer progressed both beds showed growth, the mulched better than the in ground. In the middle of August the ground planted ones were under attack, the tops laying on the ground, the taters gone. MOLES. Not 3 feet away the mulched plants grew on.
I harvest 25 pounds of nice large clean taters from the mulched plants, 0 from the ground grown, the critters got them all.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Weds - After work, moved the Leaf pile from the garden space to in front of the compost bins intending to grind them down with the mower. Fueled it up, gave a couple of pulls on the pull cord which then came off in my hand, Bah humbug. So, adding 'repair mower' to list of things to do Monday and/or Tuesday (my Saturday and Sunday). Then moved some more soil from paths to beds, 4th bed is in position.
Thursday - Weather turned cold over night, woke to temperatures in the high 20's and pea soup fog. I figured the weather would get cold again, brr.
Got to wondering how warm the soil in the beds was, so stuck a thermometer through the cardboard covering one of the beds. Got a reading of 55F, so need to get the watering system in, so I can get planting. Haven't had water in the yard for a couple years after re-plumbing from the meter to the house because of a leak(s) some where in lines.
Friday - Rebuilt part of the compost bin as the old one was in BAD shape, it was left over from the last attempt at gardening, over 10 years ago. The pallets were rotting and coming apart. New pallets are larger so should work better, as I have noticed that the compost cools off quickly.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Under Da Lights

Yay, first planting of the year. Rosemary, six good old cheap newspaper planting pots worth. Will put the top (bottom) on the container to contain the moisture later tonight.
In other goings on, I bought some cover crop seed today, to plant in the future bed area. Also 10 more bags of steer manure and a bunch of fittings for the drip irrigation system. Then moved some of the pathway soil to the beds and cleaned up some of the trash from tree removal.
You may wonder what is going in all that bed space. What seed I have to plant.
  • Russian Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Sweet Marjoram
  • Green Culinary Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Greek Oregano
  • Grandma Einck's Dill
  • Genovese Basil

  • Moon & Star Watermelon
  • Eva Purple Tomato
  • Purple Top White Globe Turnip
  • Spinach
  • Early Scarlet Globe Radish
  • Quadrato Asti Giallo bell pepper
  • British Wonder Pea
  • Kentucky Wonder Pole Bean
  • Chioggia beet
  • Dragon Carrot
  • Copenhagen market cabbage
  • Strawberry Popcorn
  • Parisian Pickling Cucumber
  • Buttercup squash
  • Cantaloupe
  • Detroit dark red beets
  • Scarlet Nantes carrots
  • slicing cucumbers
  • JalapeƱo peppers
  • sweet corn
  • leaf lettuce
  • French salad blend (french lettuces,chard,corn salad,chervil,endive and spinach)
  • Bunching onions
  • Monday, February 15, 2010

    As it is now

    This was taken this afternoon after I turned the compost, unloaded the pickup of the latest goodies re-purposed to the garden and moved some more soil from the paths to the beds.
    The cardboard is mulching the bed it on to suppress the weeds, which starting to grow well in the mild winter weather we are having this year. The white bags are manure which will be spread two to a bed. I should go get 10 more bags of that tomorrow while its on sale. The pile of leaves in the fore ground is to be moved to compost piles shortly, was originally intended for mulch but will be better used as compost.

    Also did a quick garden plan of current and future bed layout. The locations of the melon, cucumber and squash hills will be in the future bed area to the left of the current beds( the red box). Hopefully I haven't bitten off more than can be chewed. Berries to go in the bed along the bottom of plan. Now to figure out what goes where.

    The Beginning - Getting bitten

    It was the reading of the Popular Farming Series Heirloom Farm in Oct(?) 2009 that started it. All those pretty pictures of ripe tomatoes, stripped beets and cubit length green beans. The Gardening bug bit me, Hard.
    Since then I have read magazine, web sites and Blogs. Compost has been set to composting, the garden has been planned multiple times, the ever lengthening seed list ordered, propagation supplies acquired and the some of soil has been worked. Many ideas were garnered from these sources.
    This is not the first garden I have grown but it will be the largest. It started as two 20x4 raised beds but has since grown to five 25x4 beds with melon and other vining plant hills(4) plus a planned raspberry bed. Twenty one packages of seed were ordered but 10 more were impulsively purchased, which is the reason the number of beds increased.
    This is what I'm starting with. Weedy Grass, no watering system and sand, lots of sand. A co-worker supplied the pile of wood chips (at the center of the container) and the leaves for the start of the compost pile.
    The fog has lifted, time to go out and dig in the dirt.