Posted by: ceara08 | May 21, 2009

Garden Update

Wow so much has happened!  Where to begin?

The new veg bed in the front, south-facing lawn has been completed (for now).  It was never very large from the start, but is now expanded twice last year’s size.   I call it my Brassica bed.  It contains Broccoli, Kale, Spinach, Pak choi, Chinese Cabbage and regular cabbage.  It also contains a few Marigolds and some other perennial flower that I cannot remember the Latin or common name.  But it’s supposed to be pretty!  Also I will put my Tom Thumb  lettuce babies in there to mature and then start some more to plant out later.  I’ve never grown Tom Thumb before and must say I’m very impressed.  It’s such an attrative lettuce.

The ground inside the greenhouse area was dug over and I added my bean/pea trench.  I learned that trick from the Brits.  Basically you dig a trench about two spade deep and then line it with water soaked cardboard, shredded newspaper, grass clippings, etc.  Well what I used was half-composted garden compost almost two weeks ago in the ditch, watered it very well with collected rainwater and then covered it back up.  The worms should move in there and finish off the decomposition process.  By the time the second week of June comes, and I transplant my special peas and beans it should be just perfect.  The whole idea of the trench is to help retain water for thirsty, fast growing plants.

We still have seedlings all over the house, literally.  The floor in the living room is covered in seed flats.  The front sun porch is loaded with containers.

We have roots on the Stevia.  Never thought it would happen.  But yes cuttings ARE possible on Stevia, just by cutting and placing in water.  Which reminds me, I better transplant that today.

Plastic containers holding toilet paper cardboard tubes are now temprary homes to some happy old heirloom peas, corn and some Pinto beans!   These seeds were germinated in the wet paper towel in a plastic bag method.  I still have some seeds germinating on top of my computer monitor.  haha

Yes, I’m going to attempt Pinto beans in our northern clime.  Should be OK, since I’m starting them early indoors.  I am hoping that at least one of these varieties of pinto beans is a climber!

And personally, I do NOT understand this obsession with dwarf/bush beans and peas.  People say, “Oh I have a small garden and so small plants are what I should grow.”  Utter nonsense.  Why?  Because the sky’s the limit, that’s why.  If anyone needs to grow vertical, it’s a small garden holder.  Besides who wants bend over all the time picking produce when you can just walk up and easily pick without fancy bending yoga moves involved.  We gardeners spend enough time bending over, thank you, when it comes to double digging, incorporating organic matter, picking stones, sowing seeds and transplanting.  Why in the world should we spend lots of time bending over to pick produce?  Europeans are now really into growing vertical in the form of “living walls.”   Perhaps it won’t be long until North America gets used to the idea.

I received in the mail a package last week.  It contained a bunch of old varieties of potato tubers.  I also received three (supposedly) perennial leeks.  They look just like any other leeks to me.  I am having  a hard time seeing how these things are going to be perennial and wrote to the person who sent and have not received a reply.  There’s also no information on this particular leek online.  I’m stumped!  In addition he sent me some heirloom pumpkins, squashes and those seeds have been planted in pots indoors.  They are rather tender plants and need warmth to germinate.  I’m not really sure what to do with those potatoes yet, or how much to cut them.  They have to go in the ground soon, but there’s a problem.

Around the greenhouse structure, we decided to open up yet more new ground.  But the wonderful man in my life broke the tiller!  The machine hit a giant rock in the dirt and completely shattered a part that holds on the tines.  And we have absolutely no money to be able to afford to replace the part(s).  So, I’m left to dig the rest of that area BY HAND.  And it’s quite a large area.  I got about a third of it dug about 1.5 spade depth so far.

In the lower field is where the tobacco will grow.  Also will attempt a Three Sisters area with about 50 corn.

I am so behind on this blog.  But I have been spending the majority of my time outdoors digging.  By the time evening rolls around, I have to cook supper then watch maybe one or two videos on my computer and then I am so tired that it’s time for sleep and then the next day I get up and do it all over again.

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