Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Late November update

The last four cherry tomatoes that I picked several weeks ago finally ripened up and were enjoyed in a quinoa salad last night. We haven't had a killing frost and subsequently are still enjoying greens from the garden. I haven't found the time to build the new garden frame and transplant everything that will be overwintering. With luck, that will happen this weekend and we will continue harvesting into January. I am also hoping to move the fish indoors this weekend.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Onions and Garlic planted

I finished planting onions and garlic this weekend (as well as transplanting strawberries). I covered them with a thick fluffy layer of leaves and Agribon fabric over hoops. This should give them a head start next spring. It was somehow satisfying to dig the 30" wide beds and then plant the sets in rows. It made me think that some of my problems over the years with getting good size root vegetables was simply that the square foot method encourages planting them too closely together.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Autumn reflections

We are having an amazingly mild autumn, I haven't seen any frost yet and we are approaching the middle of November. Last weekend I transplanted all of the strawberries from the garden frames back down to our property in the Southtowns. I am planning to grow a nice big patch of strawberries there next year as well as onions, garlic and potatoes.

The garden frames up north are still full of kale, celery, parsley, choi, lettuce and chard.

My experience with the tree roots invading my garden beds this year caused me to reflect on how much I may have been affected by them in various locations in the past. I am beginning to think that placing a root barrier around any garden within 50' of a tree is essential for maximum long-term production. This may be the inspiration that I need to rent a trencher to run electric and water out to the Southtowns gardens as well as place a root barrier around everything.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Early Autumn Update

I continue to harvest kale, choi, tatsoi, lettuce, chard, parsley, celery, cabbage and bell peppers as needed. After these are finished, I am planning a reboot of the garden by rebuilding the beds as discussed previously. I may only build one or two before the weather turns really cold because I am also planning to experiment with aquaponics this winter in the basement.

For the aquaponics setup, I will use materials that I already have on hand as much as possible. I have a bunch of large food grade containers that were salvaged from the house fire which will work for holding the growing media (gravel and/or loam). I will drop these into a 2x6 frame and then situate a large plastic container underneath to hold the fish. The fun part will be figuring out how to circulate the water through the growing medium. I may experiment with a flood/drain system as well as some drip irrigation in regular soil.