Saturday, March 13, 2010

soil analyses, coldframes and seedlings

This winter I scooped up two cups of our garden soil and sent it away to Penn State for some testing. They sent it back with some surprising data. Our PH is 7.5. While most PA gardeners are adding lime to their plots, I have been instructed to add sulfur to mine. They also recommended adding Urea for a nitrogen boost. I wonder whether the limestone house is responsible for our higher PH. If you look very closely at our walls you can sometimes even spot little seashells buried in the stone.

Anyway today I did as instructed and added the recommended quantity of both sulphur and Urea. I also built our coldframe in order to use it as a spring seed starter for cold tolerant plants. I planted a mix of lettuce (broadcast), radishes, green onions, onions, brussel sprouts, beets, spinach and carrots. All of this is covered with metal chicken wire and plastic for a cheap and easy cold frame.

In one of my main sun garden plots, I planted my broccoli seedlings. They are about 6 inches tall and have been transplanted and hardened off. I hope they make it. A mid-march planting date may have been too aggressive, but I am hoping for an early harvest before we move.

Finally, I stirred the compost. It is a very cold soggy mix right now. Hoping that this stirring will fire it up.

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