March 16, 2015
This past week turned out to be really nice (it was supposed to rain most of the week). We are harvesting eggs AND our kale made it through the winter! We are harvesting lightly but really, we are super excited about the kale sprouts that will be coming up soon! YUM!We are also seeing some sprouts in the greenhouses!some kale… some purple cabbage…
We also have broccoli, lettuce, onions, and even one tomato (or ground cherry?) sprouting!
If you have been following our journey from the beginning, you will recall before we knew about Paul Gautschi and Back to Eden, we covered our garden with tarps to keep the bermuda grass out (nothing else worked). We would cut through the tarp to plant. All around our blueberry plants and around our raised beds is mulch on top of tarp.
As we continue to expand the garden, we put down newspaper/cardboard and then mulch. We eventually want to expand the garden to the fence line (on the other sides of the pruned trees)… and all the way down the hill. That is our burn pile. with all of our prunings. We tried to burn it this week…but everything was too wet so we basically burned the grass…we’ll try to burn the wood if it ever dries out here. I am looking forward to being able to add the wonderful minerals from the wood ash to the garden.
Back to expanding. 🙂 We typically will expand a section or two each year, as we collect cardboard. This takes the whole family, one wagon load of mulch at a time, as we are without machinery.
In the meantime, I am increasing our planting area within the garden by ripping up sections of tarp and covering the bare ground with mulch. The mulch will have all summer to break down and it will be ready to be planted in next spring or maybe this fall (depending on how strapped I am for space).
Here is a section of tarp, ripped up.Even being covered in tarp for 3 years, there were sprouts of green (from where the tarp was thin) that needed to be covered up with newspaper. Here it is mostly covered. Notice in the foreground (to the right) is another of different-colored mulch — that was a section I did a couple days before I took these pictures. In the foreground (to the left) is where we planted corn this summer (for perspective). Later in the spring, when I’m busy getting seeds and transplants into the ground, I won’t have time to do any garden expansion. Might as well spend these nice days (before planting time) doing something productive outside!
SOOOO, Garden Chores I Accomplished This Week:
- Pulled up tarp and covered with mulch (two areas)
- Weeded the whole garden in an hour (yay BTE!)
- Staked the raspberry plants (last year they drooped and ants had a field day!)
- Moved the tractor
- Set up low tunnesls for brassicas
Raspberries staked:Tractor moved from here (where the cabbages and kale were):(Left side of pic where tractor was…Right side of pic where tractor is) Ready for planting! Last spring, peas were planted here. During the summer, sweet potatoes. I am planning on planting tomatoes and ground cherries outside of it so they can climb up the sides and shade-tolerant crops inside. And finally, setting up my low tunnels for brassicas:
I followed the tutorial from Mother of a Hubbard. I LOVE her blog. SO informative regarding fall/winter gardening! We do not have a stud bar so I used a piece from our broken down trampoline 😉As you can see, I marked 12″ with a sharpie so I would know when to stop driving it into the ground. I used a post driver to do so. I used 10′ PVC pipes we had left over from making chicken tunnels. The holes are 5′ feet apart and the hoops are spaced 5′ apart. So here I have a 5’x10′ bed. I could have spaced the holes 6′ apart but I am growing broccoli in here so I wanted the hoops higher. They are 3′ high. If I end up with more transplants than room, I can always add another hoop.
I made another low tunnel the next day for kale. I have such issues growing brassicas because of the cabbage worms. I am going to be proactive this year and cover everything from the start! Also, now that I see how easy it is to make low tunnels, hopefully my 2015/16 winter garden will be hoppin’! 😀
Are you ready to get out into the garden? I know this was a long post but frankly, I’m happy about it — I was sick of the ‘only harvesting eggs’…’too cold to do anything’ posts 😉
Check out what other gardeners are doing at Daphne’s Dandelions today!
I’d take the eggs ;>. Though I have to say I’m pretty sick of harvesting nothing. I can’t wait for spring. And the way you are creating the garden reminds me of my last yard. I made it by tossing about 18″ of leaves on it and let it all break down. It killed all the grass pretty well. Not that it was easy to dig then. That soil was solid clay, but it helped a lot.
Our soil is solid clay as well. Each year, with a covering, it gets better and better!