Saturday, May 28, 2011

This week in the Garden 5/28/11

We're still chipping away at getting our garden in. Today Scarlet and I planted-

-2 rows of Atomic Red Carrots
-3 cilantro plants
-8 arugula plants
-2 rows of Mesclun Mix lettuce
-2 rows of Red Romaine lettuce
-2 red celery plants (from the school plant sale - woohoo!)
-1 Purple Sicilian Cauliflower (ditto on the plant sale. These weren't exactly flying out the door.)
-1 Lemon Thyme
-1 Spicy Orange Thyme
-1 Hardy Marjoram
-1 Italian Parsley
-1 Dwarf Curry

In Scarlet's Flower Bed-
-2 packets Autumn Beauty sunflowers
-1 packet Lemon Queen sunflowers
-1 packet Annual (wild) sunflowers

I'd meant to get all of the carrots in today, but between what we did plant and exercising the goats, it just didn't happen. The root crops have presented a particular difficulty with our soil. The carrot seed packet suggested that you loosen the soil a foot down for the carrots to penetrate easily. A foot down! Even though we tilled the garden just last week, the rain and hail that we've had off and on since, combined with the clay that was turned up, have made for a very dense layer that doesn't yield to the hoe all that easily.

So instead of digging a foot down, Scarlet and I hoed up little hillocks of soil, and topped them with off with some NuLife Organic Container mix that I have been using for everything this year. I buy it by the bag (or four), but I swear I'd buy it by the ton if they sold it that way. My plants are loving it! I do wish that we'd been able to use our own compost as amendment instead, but on account of our compost only being 9 months old, and the no-heat summer that we had last year, things just didn't break down as much as they should have. The NuLife will hopefully be a fair stand-in.

In addition to the fancy soil, I plan to mulch the holy-heck out of everything just as soon as I can, using my goat pen cleanings. Bill has a friend who raises sheep and uses his poopy straw around his tomatoes and recommends it highly. Sounds good to me.

So all in all we have summer and winter squash, pumpkins, lettuces, tomatoes, celery, herbs, cauliflower, tomatillos & ground cherries all in. Coming soon, weather and physical well-being permitting - more carrots, peas, beans, beets, giant sunflowers and radishes. We're going to sew a few waves of radishes in the spot where the corn will eventually go, since they only take about 20 days to mature, and our soil isn't nearly warm enough yet to plant corn out. I'm actually going to try starting my corn inside to try and skirt the bird/rodent seed pilferage issue. We'll see how that flies I guess!

After we fiddled in the garden, Scarlet and I took the mama goats for a walk up to the chicken yard to munch down some brush. Unfortunately, all they seem to want to eat is the grass, so I had to cut the Scotch Broom down myself and truck it up to the less-finicky wethers who gobbled it down like candy.

Hoooo-wee I'm one tired girl tonight, but it sure does feel good to get out in the dirt and play! :)

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