Friday, March 26, 2010
That said, things are moving slowly. I mentioned in a previous post that I planted peas - way back on 3/13. They still have not poked out of the ground, I am starting to get paranoid that they are all dud seeds. I know this is not the case as one seed packet was purchased this year.
Some zinnias and some Nicotiana have sprouted in the greenhouse - now I need to protect them from slugs. My peppers, eggplants, rudbeckia, cosmos, chives, coleus, snapdragons, lobelia, parsley, are just bare looking pots of dirt, nothing to even mention yet. The peppers and eggplants have been sitting there for nearly two weeks now - in past years they take between 2-3 weeks, so its normal, but I am impatient!
I have hardened off my sweet peas and transplanted spinach out into the garden. I have some lettuce and onions that should be transplanted soon. Big deal. Nothing is growing in earnest, and the yard still looks like its basically winter. :(
I am starting to see the lillies poke the soil surface, and I am starting to see action with my hardy salvias and my viburnum. My blueberries are budding out. But damn it, I want more action! In the meantime, I'll just keep weeding :(
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
It's been a balmy winter hovering around 50degrees through most of January and February, where now in March, we have had a couple highs close to 60. Though today we have sat around 45 degrees all day long, so I know I can't be too aggressive.
I planted onion seeds in a pot around mid-Feb (the 13th or so). That is probably a little late, but I dunno - better than not planting them at all I say. There are a few of those overwintering onions still left in the ground, so that is pretty cool. On around 2/23, I planted a couple spinach seeds in pots, and a couple lettuce seeds in pots. All my seeds are up and growing.
Also, over the course of 3 or 4 weeks, I dug out a plot in the front yard - about 8 feet by 24 feet. I did this between my two dwarf apples that I planted 2 years back. I simply tilled under a patch of dandilions on the parking strip (which in oulying Seattle are all sans sidewalks), and just kept breaking up the big chunks of weed sod with a mattock (by hand - which was young mans work, but I did it anyways). I then went the extra mile and turned the compost pile which was full of sod from the excavation project last year and now almost completely decomposed and fortified with a fall and winters worth of veggie scraps from the kitchen and spread 4-5 wheelbarrow loads over the plot. I'll get up photos when I can.
Here is the garden plan I've made for the year:
I'll plant my peas this month, and start a bunch of the summer crops (peppers and eggplant, I'll wait till April 1 for my tomatos).
I purchased a 50 ft semi-hard 0.5inch plastic hose - the kind used for landscape sprikler systems, and plan on using it to build a tunnel cloche frame - with a nylon fabric over them. I'll cut little trenches out of small scraps of the hose to create clips to secure the fabric. Its all a theory at this point, at garden stores there is a surprising lack of cloching equipment.
I've also laid out black plastic over all the unplanted garden area (which is nearly everything at this point) to heat up the ground. I'll remove it piecemeal as the garden goes in.
I plan on doing a garden succession this year - I've never done this before. I think the garlic comes out in late June, the lettuce should be getting regularly harvested and re-planted, the peas will come out in July. So in those spots in the garden, I want to be filling in any of the following, and am not precisely sure where, but here are the latest planting dates for these crops as I understand them for the Seattle area:
- Broccoli - June 25
- Chard - July 15
- Carrots - July 15
- Spinach - August 5
- Lettuce - August 10 (I can probably get away with a little bit later)
- Onions - August 15
- And of course Garlic which can go in mid October
I've started thinking about flowers too, but these are sort of on the back burner - I have my hands full. I put a bag of cold wet seed starting mix and some echinacea seeds in the fridge, and those will get planted in pots in early April. Other seeds will probably just get direct seeded towards may, or else in pots in April. I am taking the flower garden much less seriously, but hopefully it will turn out nice.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
We had at least a ton of dirt to move, and simply spread it out on our ugly and weedy lawn, covering the whole thing by the end of the process of mound removal. I really hope that it doesn't grow back up through the dirt, but its been so dry this summer, that I am guessing all that old lawn is dead by now, and that it will eventually decompose.
After the mound was removed, I spent a few weeks planning and building a raised bed in which I plan to plant a nice vegetable garden next spring. To fill in the planter, I've bought 6 yards of "Special Garden Mix" topsoil I purchsed from Pacific Topsoil. I probably bought 2 yards too many, but was able to spread it out nicely across parts of the yard to sweeten the soil. Look at the rediculous hops vine sprawling on my deck - next summer it will be strung up with that pole I cut out of the pear tree.
I then planted 15 X 15 foot patch of shade type grass in the spot my former mound used to be. Its a nice spot cause it gets shade during the hottest parts of my afternoon (the time of day my deck just bakes in the sun).
I've been waiting for the rains and cooler weather to start buying, moving plants around the yard. So far this September, I've been able to get quite a few good deals at the Sky Nursery - they have some 30% off deals on perennials, and now is the time. I'll try and get pictures up of the process over time.
In August, I thought I would get a head-start on my veggie garden. I made a boner move though, and planted a storage onion (Copra onions) instead of overwintering onions (which you should avoid my mistakes next year and pick Walla Walla or Hi-Ball). I've also planted 4 little spots with loose-leaf lettuce (a variety pack from Territorial.) I've got a question out to some gardeners at OSU about the Copra onions and if I should just plant over them with a green cover this winter and forget about them, or leave them be and see if it works out. I'll probably just leave them and report back here if / when they fail.
I still have some work to do this fall. I have to plant my cover crops - I don't want grasses and weeds to invade the yard, and I want to add some organic matter to my soil this winter. The dirt under that mound after the first 6-10 inches was pretty depleted, but it was nice loam. Certain parts were pretty clayish though :(