I hope this works….

If you don't experiment, you don't learn.

Gardening in the snow

I live in zone 5.  For the first time I planted the spinach and peas outside before the frost date of May 15. I planted them three weeks ago.  Since then we have had three snowstorms, with night-time temps into the teens…..and wind, don’t forget the high winds that have been around. My garlic is still alive.  I credit the straw and leaf mulch that engulfs them. I don’t know if my spinach will survive, as I just threw the seeds on top of the mulch, then sprinkled a bit of dirt over the top.  I’ve been watching with curiosity. Maybe I should put some more dirt down…maybe they have blown away….I can’t tell.

I started the toms, (Black Plum Cherries, Mortgage Lifter Beefsteak and ground cherry (tomato-like plants)) inside and they are all doing well.  The ground cherries are a little slow.  I don’t know if this is normal as this is the first time I’ve planted them.  I had a scare this weekend.  I accidentally spilled the toms all over my kitchen floor.  The black plastic pot holder got caught on the sliding glass door and flipped over!  All 14 of my toms did a face-plant.  All I could see were mounds of dirt. I extracted them from the ruins and re-planted them, except now I have no way of knowing which plants are which as the little name plates got separated from the plants…..I guess I will have to plant all of them.  I tell you, it was a scary moment, my heart leapt into my throat…it was almost as bad as seeing one of my kids fall down.  I’m happy to report that they survived the fall and are doing well.

I also have leeks growing in my window. I planted parsnips, eggplant and peppers last week and so far nothing has shown.  I have had poor luck with parsnips, I love them, but out of the 18 I planted last year, only one grew, so I decided to start them indoors this year.  We shall see what happens.

This Saturday, our local Whole Foods is having a “Compost Dump”.  A big truck will pull up into the parking lot and dump a bunch of compost there.  It will be free.  I intend to be there early.  I have compost, but I suspect this will be better than mine…..:) I want to use it on top of my lasagna beds that seem to be nothing but straw. That way I will have a base for the seeds.

An interesting spring so far. We shall see what new things it brings.

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Spring Gardening

I have 8 raised beds. I like veggies.  I want chickens. I have 5 sickly-looking rose bushes.  I don’t know if they made it through this dry winter.

This week, I planted peas and spinach outside and peppers, eggplants and parsnips inside.  They have joined the growing ranks on my little gro-lite shelf of leeks and tomatoes.

Last fall I tried the “Lasagna Gardening” (by Patricia Lanza) method of enriching my soil.  I stole leaves from my neighbors and bought two bales of straw, four bags of peat and found a place where I could get free goat/chicken manure. I didn’t build it up to two feet high as I didn’t have the resources to do so, so my piles of organic material were not quite a foot tall.  They have sank down a little, but not much.  I didn’t water them at all.  My hubby just informed me that we are on water rationing. It started last week.  We are an even numbered house so can water on Wed and Sun.  Hand-held sprayers and drip irrigation systems are exempt. Four of my raised beds are on the same system as the yard. I might have to start hand-watering.

Anyway, the organic matter on my raised beds is pretty dry, but there is some rotting going on. The squirrels have been gleefully digging holes…at least I think it is squirrels.  Could be mice or snakes….. but on the whole, things don’t look like there is much activity going on.  When I planted the peas, I dug down a little til I reached dirt, them shoved them in.  The spinach I broadcast on top of the ground up leaves and compost and then sprinkled a bit of potting soil on top then watered them…..

I hope it works.

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