March 17, 2014
More crazy weather this week! I’m not sure if it is unusually crazy this year or if it is just that when you garden, you pay more attention to the weather patterns…
80 degrees one day…the next day, everything that had sprouted had to be covered because night time temperatures got below freezing.
It warmed back up a little at the end of the week to almost 70 degrees so I went ahead and planted some more:
…and I’ll have to cover most of that again because there is a chance of snow tomorrow night. boo.
- Check out that straight line! 😉 I did better on the second one.
- All of the bricks, etc. are from having to cover up this area once a week for the past month.
- There is a reason I had to dig so deeply to plant…
Last year we covered this area THICKLY with mulch just to get rid of the grass. A couple of months ago, I was pulling weeds around the leaning apple tree and saw how fluffy the soil was underneath. So, this year, I decided to make this area more garden space. In order to get down to the soil, I have to rake back quite a bit of mulch first.
I am planning on planting veggies that can grow in partial shade (lettuce, kale, carrots, etc.) on the North side and veggies that need full sun on the other sides. I covered the whole area with horse manure (see the dark balls around the tree? 😉 to help the plants as well.
I had on the schedule to transplant some broccoli and cabbage this week but they have only begun to sprout in the greenhouses so those will have to wait.
I also went ahead and trimmed the onion sprouts to encourage more growth.
Here are some pics of planting potatoes. I covered the area last fall with horse manure and mulch. The chickens love digging around in there so there are areas that have less mulch than others.
(I dug down and placed a potato on the soil. Last year I cut them but Paul does not so this year I tried whole potatoes) (Each of those mounds is next to a potato. We then covered the potato up with the mounds of mulch.)(Finally, I covered the area with enough mulch that From the soil to the top of the mulch is 8 inches. Having the mulch this deep means I will not have to mound as the summer progresses. I think I will cover this with some more horse or chicken manure as well for a bit more fertilizer as it rains throughout the season.)
Above the mound of mulch in the above picture are potatoes I planted back in October. The left side of the mound of mulch is red potatoes and the right side are Yukon Gold potatoes. The top of the picture gets more sun than the bottom but the bottom part of the above picture holds more moisture, which potatoes love. I also ordered some potatoes (purple, I think) that will be planted to the right of the mound of mulch whenever they come in. At the very least, this potato patch will be a good experiment in sun, water and planting times!
A few more things sprouted this week in the greenhouses:
- Red Romaine
I am thankful the warm weather spurts have not put any of our fruit trees/bushes into bloom because those are MORE than a pain to cover when there are late-season frosts. We are not past the point of possible frosts but so far, so good, as far as the fruit trees/bushes go.
One thing I am terribly sad about that has not sprouted is the celery. I would assume these would sprout when the onion seeds sprouted. However, I think maybe the soil in which they were planted got dried out. The greenhouses with the celery seeds in them were placed in a different place than the ones with onion seeds. I think they got more wind (were less protected); therefore, the onion greenhouses stayed moist and were able to germinate. This may be a loss for celery this year, which I am VERY sad about because we juice it like CRAZY and cannot get it organically around here but all I can do is try again in the summer and until then, research, research, research!
Harvesting about 15 eggs/day from our 19 chickens 🙂 Broody hen is holding steady so far.
Never having hatched eggs before, I thought it would be better to wait to candle them later in gestation so we could actually see something. Little did I know, you are supposed to candle them in the beginning (after 7 days) because towards the end, they are filling up the egg too much to see anything! Oh well, not the educational experience I was going for. I guess we’ll just have to wait one more week to see if any chicks actually hatch!
What are you harvesting? Are your temperatures fluctuating like ours are in the southeast? Check out what other gardeners are doing around the world at Daphne’s Dandelions!