Sunday, April 28, 2013

Incredible Edibles Plant Sale -- May 4, 2013

In case you don't follow my cooking blog, I just put a post there about the Incredible Edibles Plant sale coming up May 4, 2013. I'm looking forward to it and will post more about the plants I get here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Digging a path

Today was too nice not to get some gardening in.

I did a second planting of veggies in the front.

I started the first of several plantings of chard. Some of the seeds are a little old, so I did a mixed planting of several different varieties and we'll just see what, if anything, comes up and go from there.

Then I moved to the back and finished my first pass of grading the new path. This makes the path longer but gives it an even and more manageable grade in inclement weather.

Shasta is always ready to give a helping paw.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Garden planning -- the apple tree mound

Apple Tree Mound Aug 18, 2012
I got my hands in the soil yesterday at a friends house helping them plant garlic. That has succeeded in getting my gardening juices flowing. I pulled out my The Maritime Northwest Garden Guide and started planning out my beds for the year. I am making a spreadsheet table for each bed and thinking through what I'm going to want where.

One great idea that Debra uses is to have a "ready to plant" pouch where you keep the seeds you intend to plant this season that are ready to go into the ground. And on the packet, write how long the planting window goes so you know how much flexibility you have if you have to triage what goes into the ground based on how much time you have available in the garden.

I am also thinking that if I try to only focus on one bed at a time, I might find the planning a little less overwhelming. So the bed d'jour is what I am calling the Apple Tree Mound, between the path and the driveway in the front yard.

State of the mound -- July 9, 2012
A harvested squash -- Aug 31, 2012
I liked the tromboncino squash I planted last year. By the end of the summer it had taken over the "apple tree mound". But by July 9 it had just started to spread.

So I'm thinking that this year I will try to get a crop of early veggies in this mound that I will harvest as the squash overtakes them. Radishes, salad greens, etc. I may even be able to selectively prune or arrange leaves to provide a little shade for greens to continue later into the summer.

I also want to get some more herbs established in the north edge of this bed. It makes a nice kitchen garden since it is just a few steps from the front porch and within easy access to water. Last year I had basil and italian parsley. I'd like to also have some oregano and thyme. Long term I'll likely have to do something else here once the apple tree has really established itself.

 I'll probably plant some chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium). It has a long tap root, so I'm not sure if my transplant will work. But I also have some seed to sew.

I also want to grow cilantro, but mostly for the coriander seeds.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fall garden and cover crops

After the Master Gardener talk on Fall and Winter Gardening by Jen Aron of Peaceful Gardens I did a bit of a harvest and clear out of the summer garden to make some room.

I lightly prepped the soil, added a little organic matter and some seeds.

For the fall garden, I planted chard and lettuce. As a cover crop I planted crimson clover and some chicken vetch.

Watered that in and covered with burlap and mulch to keep the water in.

Then started watering twice a day to keep moist.

I was shocked, yes shocked, to see sprouts just three days later!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Edible Forest Gardens: Vol 2. Chapter 6 -- Garden Establishment

Construction Sequence:

  • Broad scale site prep. -- grading, drainage, irrigation, tilling, cover-crops, clearing
  • Staking out -- paths, beds, key plant location
  • Bed-by-bed site prep. -- double digging, amending
  • Planting woody plants
  • Sheet mulch
  • Staking out patches
  • Plant herbs
  • Aftercare -- watering, weeding
The discussion on planting reminded me that I need to take some care with managing soil horizons as I build mounds and swales. Need to keep topsoil above subsoil. 

Edible Forest Gardens: Vol 1. Chapter 5 -- Underground Economy

On to chapter 5 of Edible Forest Gardens: Structures of the Underground Economy.

Random notes:
  • Manually deepening shallow roots before planting offers major benefits.
  • Rhizomes are botanically stems. Their leaves are adapted into defensive scales.
  • Check out Wild Roots, by Douglas Elliott.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Garden update

I harvested some salad greens from the garden tonight. The garden has been enjoying the warm weather. I have finally had to start regular watering. Now I need to figure out when to harvest the fennel.
Plants were purchased at the Incredible Edibles Plant Sale and were planted in May.
The italian parsley seems particularly happy and the squash has some nice large dark green leaves. The basil was not doing well, so I picked up another basil plant from Trader Joe's.