Saturday, March 14, 2009

To Do List

It's Saturday and the weather is promising (30 degrees now - 51 high), so today will certainly spent digging in the dirt. It is too early right now to go out and wake up the neighborhood, so here is my to-do list for the day.

  1. Build second sq. foot garden. The wood is cut, I just need to fit it together and fill it up with dirt.
  2. Work soil in West half of sun garden. Make paths, add compost, remove green manure.
  3. Plant potatoes. They came in the mail last week. I need to get them in the ground.
  4. Prep soil in traditional cold frame, bring out various seedlings for hardening off - Pansys, mesculin pots, cabbage, brocolli flat
  5. Plant various in cold frame and sq. foot garden #2.
I could say a million more things that are on my garden mind, but realistically I think that is all I can likely accomplish today. I'll check back this evening to see how I did.

End of day update: Well I actually did everything on this list - whopee!

Sq foot garden #2 was the first thing I worked on. It is 4ft by 6ft just like its brother. I conditioned the soil with bone meal, lime and compost. I planted all the squares but 7. Here is what I put in it.
  1. Leek seed - one square
  2. Spinach 18 seeds - two squares
  3. Swiss chard - 9 seeds - one square
  4. Seed saver lettuce - 5 seeds - one square
  5. Beets - 18 seeds - two squares
  6. Buttercrunch lettuce - 5 seeds - one square
  7. Radish - 16 seeds - one square
  8. Broccoli - 2 seeds - two squares
  9. Carrots - 16 seeds - one square
  10. Green onions - 16 seeds - one square
  11. Red Cabbage - 2 seeds - two squares
  12. Rhubarb seedling
  13. Geranium seedling
The rhubarb seedling appeared to die almost immediately. Guess they aren't fans of cooler weather. I do not intend to cover this garden in plastic, since I didn't do many seedlings. I am fully prepared to lose the rhubarb and geranium.

Next project was in the sun garden. I also mixed bone meal in this section. I had previously mixed lime and compost. I created the main sunken path at approx 24 inches wide and one side path (north one). This gave me access to the north west raised bed for my potatoes. To prepared the soil, I took the dirt that I removed from the sunken path and threw it on top of the raised be area which had a smattering of green manure and compost laying on top. I worked it modestly with my fork and rake, but mostly just pulled large chunky stuff and green manure out with my hands. Then I dug 25 8 inch holes. I put the potatoe chunks in the bottom of the holes and buried them with about 2 inches of dirt. These were red norland potatoes from shumway. The plan is to continue to bury them as the sprouts break the surface. One book I read last night says I should spread one inch of chunky compost on top of them and then mulch them with apprx 6 inches of straw. I may do just that - if I can find straw around here. I am told to expect between 6 and 8 potatoes per plant, and that they can be eaten at almost any stage of maturity, since they are red.

The soil in the far west side of this section (grew corn and a fall planting of peas last year) looked absolutely wonderful. The rest of the soil was pretty rocky (from my paths last year), and had big sticks and chunks from my not so finished compost. But for the most part it looked nice and loamy. I did have to pull out another couple of concrete block chunks left over from the pond that I tore out last year.

Cold frame update: While I was prepping the soil in the sun garden, I transplanted 3 spinach plants that had survived the winter and are starting to green back up. I put them in the traditional cold frame and hit them with compost tea. I also watered everything that had previously been planted with compost tea. It is a nice light brown color coming out of the rain barrell. I wonder if I need to change the bag of compost at the bottom of the barrel from time to time.

Seed update: I saw a lot of new seedlings popping up today. SQ foot garden #1 now has the radishes growing in full force. I also saw two new spinach seedlings and one brocoli seedling popping up. I may have seen some buttercrunch lettuce popping up, but this may be a weed - still too soon to tell. In the traditional cold frame the spinach seeds are turning to seedlings, I saw some pak choi hit the surface, and I may have seen some kale. The geraniums I planted as seedlings in this cold frame about a week ago are certainly dead.

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