Friday, March 23, 2018

March Status of the Garden

Peas out.

Beginning to bring out some starts from the greenhouse, but lots more seed planted here.

Also have radish and carrots in front of the peas

Brought out some lettuce starts. Under the cold frame. 
Carrots and swiss chard. This will be under a cold frame.

Lettuce from seed a couple of weeks ago. Under a cold frame.

This is exciting! Feldsalat, from German seeds. Also under a cold frame. We'll see how this does.

Our first asparagus sprout in their new  home! Woot! I didn't kill them all!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A Trellis for Peas.

One of the advantaged about raised beds is that it adds a third dimension to the gardening. In this case, we're going up and over, from one bed to another.

In another case, I'll be growing pumpkins, maybe cucumbers, that vine over the edge, to the ground thirty inches below.

This trellis is made from some cedar fencing, and some fencing that I'd used for potato pots a few years back. I've planted sugar peas under each end.

We never expect to "harvest" peas. Peas, like raspberries, are for grazing.

And it makes kind of a nice entry way into the garden.

Once the peas are done, we are thinking we might do pole beans. This would be a good place for scarlet runners, don't you think?

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Big Bin, For the Win

So the new garden space has a whole lot of 8' x 3' beds. Right in the middle of those, taking the space of two of them, I decided that I wanted one larger bed.

Partly, this is to break up the monotony of a tank farm for a garden.

And partly, this is to make up for some of the lost square footage (despite the increased cubic footage) of the new beds. It's also less expensive per square foot.

We had to special order the 8' diameter tank.

Then we needed to find a way to get it home. That's a big plant pot.

As with the others, I cut out the bottom of the tank, and set it on cinder blocks.

Then we had to fill it. The best calculation is that this took a thousand gallons of dirt. That's 4.95 cubic yards.

That's a lot of dirt. All shoveled twice by hand.

We had a yard or two already, from having emptied some other locations, and we added three yards from the soil store.

Busted a wheelbarrow in the process.

Filled it mostly with "Garden Mix." One third topsoil and two thirds mushroom compost.

Can't wait for spring to really land, so we can fill this up. 

Since we will have a challenge reaching the very middle of this bed, we stuck a rosemary plant there.

And if you look closely, you'll see the pipe for the garden's primary sprinkler next to the rosemary.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Status Updates of Early Starts

Update on what's going on, in the greenhouse and in the garden.

In the greenhouse, the tomatoes are doing really well.

I'll probably transplant some of these into individual 4" pots next weekend or so.

Outdoors, the rhubarb is doing well in its new home (transplanted a week ago).

I added a couple others this weekend, also.

We'll see how this goes. It kind of seemed "too easy."

I also transplanted the raspberries last weekend.

They're doing pretty well, too.

Today, I transplanted some of the Romaine lettuce that I've had growing in the pepper beds in the greenhouse, into the back raised bed.

Kind of nervous-making: this is pretty early. But lettuce isn't supposed to be intimidated by freezing weather.

We'll see.

This is how the Schizanthus is doing.

It's weird how only half sprouted.

I re-planted the other half. We'll see how that works out.

I also planted some Alyssum in a pot: a couple of colors.

I'm hoping that these will spill over the side and make a real pretty hanging basket.

Just germinating.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Plantings Mid February

Planted some stuff today:

These seeds are on warming pads: back tray, left to right: dill, Pattypan squash, some unknown seed (maybe 4 o'clock flowers), Anaheim peppers, white onions from 2014, bench peppers from 2014.

Front tray, left to right: sunflowers, basil, both from 2017, Mexican tarragon, green onions, lemon cucumber, year uncertain, nasturtiums 2017.

Planted some mescalin, garden greens.

Planted some vines. I'm starting some Black-Eyed Susans (bright yellow flowers) and some Cardinal Climbers (bright red flowers.

I think the vines may be similar. The flowers are not the same at all (color or shape). 

The goal is to plant these together in one (larger) pot, with a trellis on it, so the two colors can climb together.

It might look cool.

I found a package of seeds labeled "Carnival Gourd" this morning. No idea where it came from.

I really enjoy "Carnival Squash." I wonder if that's what this is? Maybe not.

So I planted it.

We'll see what comes up.

I'm not impressed with the hot pepper starts, so I'm re-starting some of them.

Lemon Drops (hot, not super-hot)
Carolina Reaper (SUPER hot!)
Cayenne (pretty hot)
Trinidad Scorpion (super hot)
Mini Bell (not hot at all, but yum!)
Golden Star F1 (yellow bell)

I really want a lot of bell peppers, hence the extra bell pepper starts.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Update on Starts and Things.

Because super-hot peppers need a very long time to germinate, I started those seeds the second week of January. I've since learned that this was kind of late for those peppers. Live and learn.

These are the super-hot peppers. At the bottom are Cayenne peppers. The others that are starting are Yellow Reapers, from which Carolina Reapers were bred.

But we're still early. It would be unusual if there were many up yet.

And I still have some growing in plastic starting bags.

These are the medium hot peppers. Fresno peppers are up. Lemon Drops are not (they were slow last year, too); neither are Felicity or Paprika peppers.
Bell peppers are inconsistent, too. Yellow bells are iffy. Red bells are great. Purple bells, also iffy. But these are pretty early.
It's habit for me: I always start peppers and tomatoes at the same time. (I'm beginning to catch on that maybe that needs to change.)

These are the tomatoes that I started at the same time. They're all doing varying degrees of really great.

Legend (determinate, slicing)
Chocolate Cherry x2 (indeterminate, large cherry)
Unknown purple tomato seeds (from 2013)
Brandywine (slicing, from 2013) and again,
Brandywine (slicing, from 2016)
Theoretically, I should begin harvesting fruit off of these late March. I think that's overly optimistic, but mid April makes some sense. And if nothing else, I'll have some really fairly mature plants to put into the new raised beds.

As long as my hands were dirty, I dug out much of the herb garden this year. looks like the oregano and the tarragon didn't make it. But I may still be surprised. I still need to find a home for garlic chives and licorice mint. Maybe this is the answer I'm looking for.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Transplanting Rhubarb & Raspberries

Spring seems to be coming early this year. That may just be because I'm paying attention. The bulbs are poking their heads up, the trees and shrubs are budding.

And the raspberries are budding. Even the rhubarb is beginning to think about leaves.

In the ongoing update of the vegetable garden's raised beds, we accomplished an important milestone today.

We decided what to do with the raspberries and rhubarb! We've been really uncertain about that for a long time.

At issue: we're replacing all the low, wooden (rotting) raised beds with taller ones that bring the dirt up to counter high.

This is much easier for these knees, for this back. And we're using galvanized steel, so it shouldn't rot for a hundred years or more.

We decided on downsizing both, though that wasn't a surprise. The rhubarb is going in one of the galvanized bins. It's only getting half a bin, though I'm sure it would like more. I'll have some to give away.

And the raspberries will be at the very front of the garden in front of the very first raised bed.

We "graze" the berries, we don't harvest them. And this way, the berries are:

a) at ground level (not at counter height) for easy reaching, and
b) the very front of the garden, in easy grazing range.

That raised bed will be challenging to reach from the front, but it will be easy enough to reach from behind.  

Before I was done, I mulched the rhubarb (and the asparagus) with mushroom compost.