Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Duck, Duck, Square!

It looks like a duck. This makes me smile. So, I keep the garden area as-is after we move to this house.  Here is my vision for the main garden 2015. (I think the original owners may have had a small tree in the middle of the circle part )

This duck head garden is off the right side of the back porch. The back porch is approx 12'x24'.  The duckbill (carrots and radishes) extends across 1/3 of the porche front edge. I grew some basil off the front edge of the porch last year. Last year I had potato bags off the left side. I now have garden boxes on the left side. I have 2 (Orange), but plan for 2 more (green). I will be increasing th size of th basil garden and moving my potato bags to the left front edge.
On viewing the area today, there may not be room for a Leek Box. And I may put the beans off the side of the blacktop. We have a square of blacktop; the original owners had it as a basketball court. We use it to set off smoke bombs and other science demonstrations. I have other options for the leek box. ... We also have an area that is approximately 35'x10'. It is home to the asparagus and compost pile. I keep trying to get squash back there. I get a few small unimpressive squash, I think the soil is poor.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Easy Gardening

I usualy don't on Sundays, but I had to today. Go in to work, that is. I work 20 hours a week at a local Healthfood store.

I did my nails all fancy today. (I have kinda bad nails, so I keep them covered to help keep them from splitting and ripping)

My spinach box has been open, as the temperature has been 40-55 the past few days. I planted carrots Dec 26 and left that area exposed to the milder temperatures. My smart phone informed me the temperature was dropping to 27 overnight. (I had to ask it first; it may be smart, but doesn't volunteer information)

So, I did quick, easy gardening today. I paid my 18 year old to cut and place covers for the carrots and put the covers on the salad box.

CARROTS (Nelson) :  I had small hoops in place already, my son added gardeners quilt and garden plastic sheeting.

  TWO BOXES with stepping stones off the side of the porch have spinach and Purple kale.    SALAD BOX: by the back door. It has lettuce and beets. I think. I forget. It all looks the same right now to me.


Friday, December 26, 2014

YES, I did!

Yes, I did pick spinach from my winter garden today!! Fresh picked spinach for BLTs!

Yes, I did plant carrots seeds in my back yard today on December 26 in Ohio! I hope my Winter Harvest book is right! The author plants carrots the last week of December at his commercial farm in Maine!
He then covers them in plastic. I will do that on Moday. We actually are in a warm pocket this weekend. It has been  in the high 40s to 50s the last two days.

The variety recommended for December planting is Nelson Carrots.

I received more year round gardening books! I got Winter Harvest (by Eliot Coleman) last week. Yesterday I got Four Season Harvest (by Eliot Coleman). Also a little handbook on cold frames.

Combine these with the book of herb growing from my brother earlier this year and I should have a wonderfully productive and yummy garden soon!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mid December

Sunday Dec 21. 36 degrees F.

We have just returned from visiting family for a week. I check my winter garden boxes. Yay! The plants are still alive! 2 of my boxes are not doing much. But the Spinach Box seems to be thriving!

My son gave me a book. The Winter Harvest Handbook, by Eliot Coleman. I started my winter garden in November, without utilizing winter garden information. I now know my mistakes with the kale and lettuce box. (Should have started them the nd of August). The Gardner who writes this book plants carrots the end of December. So I prepared a small trial carrot bed today.
 I dug up an area of garden just off the porch (so I won't have to walk far to check it during these cold months). 

Then I filled a wheel barrow with peat moss, dead leaves, and some dirt from the bottom of my compost pile.

 (yes, I am standing in the compost pile. the top layer of compost is frozen solid)
 I mix the moss, leaves, and compost; then add it in the bottom of the dug out area. Cover with the dirt I just dug, smooth and mark with stones.)

 According the Winter Harvest book, they prepare their soil 3 weeks in advance with green manure (which has no animal feces. it is just oats plants and pea plants). They turn this under the existing soil about a foot, replace the top soil, let rest a few weeks, then plant their seeds. I do not have green manure or 3 weeks. 
hopefully, the moss. leaves. compost mixture will do this time. I covered the prepared soil with tarp. not sure it will do anything, but it seemed like a good idea. Planned Planting Date is Dec 31.


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