It took me a couple of weeks, but here are some updated pictures of my early spring Plantings. Now if you compare the actual plantings to my 2011 Garden plan under the resources tab, you will notice it is changed a little bit. That happens, so don’t give yourself a hard time if you change yours too. Sometimes I just don’t have that paper handy and I forget where I wanted to maybe put something, or I’ve just plain changed my mind. OR, I have added more of one thing and need to just fit it in.
Monthly Archives: April 2011
I have to update you on the worms living inside the composter. They’ve been there for over a month and they have not only grown, but multiplied! I am astonished at how active they are. About once or twice a week we give them water and a tumble or two then I open it back up to see what’s going on and there they are squirming back down into the dark. It is kind of like having another pet, though; you do think in the back of your mind….Do they have enough water?? I mean, if they weren’t there I wouldn’t be thinking that at all. But water is important to the composting process, so maybe it’s just as well. I water them at least once a week and it’s not even hot yet….
I think my husband is onto something here……What with fishing right around the corner. The countertop composter keeper is the bomb! I really like it; there is no smell (unlike the bowl I was using before). And it is somewhat attractive for what it is used for. They do make under the counter compost keepers too that are just little trash cans with a charcoal filter. I add a little shredded paper or dried out leaves or grass every 3rd time I add the gallon sized compost keeper of counter shreds to the composter.
It’s been awhile….I have been busy in the garden these past couple of weeks.
2 weeks ago – I installed my tomato and pole bean hedgerows. Installing these took several hours because I lacked the post driver to drive the T-posts into the ground. Instead I used a metal mallet which overworked my hand (if you have the proper tools, it would take you less than an hour). I hung the ranch panels and hog panel sections onto the t-posts about 8-12 inches off of the ground. It was a nice day and about this time, you just have to keep an eye out for days like these to get in a few hours work.
1 week ago – Broccoli – Another nice Sunday afternoon, I planted my broccoli starts that were started in february. I didn’t harden them off. Again, I just don’t have the patience to do this. I used the “sf” method for this and planted 9 plants in a 3′ x 3′ section. It should work well in theory; we’ll see how many make it. ONION SETS – I may have mentioned that I think I am going onion crazy this year. I planted 2 sf of onions – about 36 in one square foot as these are intended to be green onions and you plant them side by side – so I figure 12 per row and 3 rows – the 2nd sf I planted 12 for “big” onions 4″ apart. Only one has sprouted in the past week. POTATOES – are sprouting and I will wait until they grow about 6 inches and then hill with dirt.
Earlier This Week – EARLY Planting of Tomatoes – I dug 5 holes about a foot deep in between my hedgerow, put fertilizer in the hole and transplanted the seedlings I started in February. I planted them with just several leaves showing at the top (stripping off the lower leaves). WALLS OF WATER – When Planting Tomatoes early like this you need to protect them. Walls of Water are like individual plastic greenhouses with tubes on the sides that you fill with water. The water heats up with the sun and stays warm and insulates at night. You can use these on a variety of plants to plant them up to 8 wks earlier than you would without using them. I am playing it safe this year doing this now; last year we got snow at the end of April. I plan on using them with my peppers when they grow big enough to transplant.
IRRIGATION – my irrigation was turned on April 1, but I had to fix a ball valve in the garden and turned on when I planted tomatoes. I have laid out the emitter hoses along my rows, but since it still raining off and on, I haven’t turned on the timers. I mulched the tomato rows with dried leaves/grass to prevent weed growth. So although the garden may appear messy, it is that way for a reason.
I was going to take pics today but it is raining. So, as soon as it’s nice I will post in this blog as well as in the photo section.
Well, in the last 5 or so days since my last post, the snap peas have emerged from the ground! Also, a few of the carrot seeds have germinated, seriously, only about 2 (it’s a start).
I also purchased the materials for my tomato hedgerows. I kept a lookout for the sale on these items at our local feed/supply store! I bought 12-6 1/2 foot Tposts at about $5/ea. 1 Ranch Panel (taller) and 1 Hog Panel (shorter and slats closer together at bottom for climbers to really grab onto) at about $18/ea. These panels come in 16 feet lengths so I paid the extra $1 per “cut” and had each panel cut in half (my rows will not be 16 ft long). This came with little wire “U”s (I’ll call them “fence hanger thingys”) to attach the panels to the posts. So for another $100 I have some sturdy “trellissing” for tomatoes and pole beans (although could be used for cucumbers, melons, eggplant, anything that climbs). These materials should last me years and years; so the investment should be worth it over the long haul. HINT: I saw some random (meaning not full lengths) of panelling setting there and asked if they had any plans for it. The guy said “I’m about to take it to the garbage”. I offered to “take it to the dump” for him to save him some time. I ended up with 3-4 foot lengths of additional panelling to use for possibly something else (that’s about $18 free!). So ASK!
If the weather holds this weekend I will plant the onion starts and some additional onion sets I purchased. I got to thinking that we do use a lot of onions and green onions; so I may as well plant as much as I can. (NOTE: Don’t fear changing your garden plan! It’s just a plan. You can change it as you go along) I’ve never tried “green onion” growing before, but the directions say to plant the onion set bulbs close together and just harvest them when they look like green onions. For larger onions, plant further apart and wait longer. I bought both yellow and red (100 in ea. pack for $1.99/pk – on sale!). I think I may put the brocolli starts in too and shield them with Pop Bottle domes for protection. When I do this I will put pictures up.
Since my planting of the seeds not much has been going on in the garden. It’s been raining on and off. Thursday and Friday were beautiful days.
Asparagus:The more established asparagus is beginning to poke through the ground. It doesn’t all come up at once, each spear is on its own time table. You’ll recall that I planted some additional asparagus roots too. I dont’ expect to be harvesting any of them. You really have to invest time with this crop and remember that it’s a perennial and will come back each year so put it in a place you won’t disturb.
Lettuce: I made a succession planting of seeds next to the seedlings I planted weeks ago. Nothing big enough to harvest yet, but most of it is doing well.
Sage, Parsley, chives: Sage is sending up new shoots, chives are growing rapidly and the parsley seeds which dropped the year before are germinated and showing their true leaves (lots of parsley which I will have to thin so they don’t choke the chives). Again, leave these where you won’t disturb them they come back year after year.
Peas, Potatoes,carrots – nothing happening on the surface yet. Just a wait and see game. (I did have left over potatoes and stuck them in the ground next to where I’ll plant tomatoes. Unplanned, but I didn’t want to waste them)
I had started some other seeds indoors on those peat pellets and transplanted those into larger 4″ containers or party cups. tomatoes, peppers (which finally germinated!), onions, dill, cilantro, broccoli (which I might actually just put into the garden with a water bottle greenhouse over it).