Friday, March 27, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

2015 Garden Kickoff

This weekend, the snow melted enough that I could pull the plastic back to see if anything survived the wicked cold of our winter. I was surprised to see that some kale and mache are still viable under the protection of only one layer of plastic. Undoubtedly, the four foot high snow drifts provided some protection as well.

Unfortunately, the mache that I planted in December never came up, though Coleman's Winter Harvest Handbook gave me some hope that it would. I am sure the issue was in my approach and not due to any shortcoming of the plant.

I soaked about a hundred snap peas for three days and then planted them directly in two containers, one covered and one without protection. The spacing is tight with about a 2" grid, we will see what happens...

This morning I started seventy soil blocks with my new 1 1/2" mini-blocker from Johnny's Seeds, about 20 kale, 10 arugula and 40 lettuce. The seeds were sprouted for 5 days on paper towels sandwiched between two plates. I used Johnny's 512 soil mix for the soil blocks which is made with just that in mind. What a difference it makes! I think I had too much peat and not enough fine particles and organic matter in previous mixes. It was well worth the investment in a soil blocking mix just to see a proper mix. I am expecting great things...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Winter garden update

I would say that the winter garden has done very well in spite of a difficult start. We have harvested a large number of greens on three occasions about 2 weeks apart (2+ gallons each time). So the garden has been at peak production since about October 11. That is about 70 days from planting. This weekend we harvested all of the Joi Choi in one of the garden containers, a large head of lettuce and some cress and arugula. I harvested a large handful of peas several days ago and there are still many flowers yet to bear fruit. Our raspberries are also still ripening and being harvested as quickly as they turn a nice deep red. The few kale plants that survived are doing well, though one has been attacked by something. The funny thing is that I didn't even notice what it was until I looked closely at the photo that my daughter took. See if you can find the culprits in the photo.

I will soon plant corn salad and some other things that I would like to see get a head start next spring and will be covering the gardens once deep frost is forecast.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Progress report

I didn't want to write anything until I was sure that our seedlings would recover, but a week after we started our seedlings for the Winter garden, they were washed out by an intense rain storm (Aug 13). I had to recreate all of the seed blocks and replant the seedlings. They have all recovered, but I think they would be further along without this mishap. The beets that were planted directly in grow boxes are much further along (though the carrots didn't sprout). Also, the washed out seedlings were all jumbled so I have lost track to some extent of what is what. However, the kale, choi, parsley and lettuce are fairly easy to tell apart (based on experience).

About August 20, I transplanted some of the seedlings into grow box containers (~25 where the carrots did not sprout). Today, I transplanted more of them into the same containers. Though the spacing is tight, I think they are better there than continuing in the trays. Two more grow boxes are being prepared. The snap peas are more than a foot tall, but only half of them sprouted (15).

This evening, I broadcast arugula and five varieties of lettuce in a tray of vermiculite. These will be planted directly into a garden frame after sprouting.