Friday, March 15, 2019

Garden Friday

Welcome back to Garden Friday.
This week has ushered in warmer temperatures
and very little rain.
We have quite a few things going on in the garden.

 Last year, I purchased sweet potato slips from our local hardware store,
but this year, I'm trying to grow my own.
I bought some organic sweet potatoes from the grocery,
and have them sitting in water in the jaccuzzi tub we never use.
I will look for better vessels, but this is what I had on hand.

 It was so exciting when the leek I ordered from Sow True came in the mail.
These are the lancelot variety and I decided that since I got 25,
I would try a little experiment.

 Last year, I grew them from seed in one of these taller blue bins.
That worked out pretty well,
but I recently learned about a new way to try.

  I refreshed the soil in this bin with compost to ready it for planting.
Everything was mixed on this tarp
to ensure that nothing got wasted.

 The first batch were planted in the conventional manner,
making sure to keep some room at the top of the container
so that additional soil can be added.
This is called "banking" or "hilling".

 In the large hugelkultur bed,
I scratched in some compost the same way.

 Using an old toothbrush, I measured about 3 inches on the handle
and used it to make my hole.

 With a rocking motion,
I moved the toothbrush back and forth 
until I got my v-shaped furrow.

Then the leeks went in
and no soil was placed into the hole.
They were watered in well and left just like that.
This method requires no banking,
as the end of the seedling is supposed to fill up the hole. 
You can read more about this method here.
 It'll be fun to see if there is much of a difference.

 This week I had the opportunity to volunteer with our local Extension
to distribute plants to folks who had ordered them.
This is a fundraiser and a great time to get good deals on crops.
We had available apple and fig trees, blueberry, raspberry, 
elderberry and blackberry bushes, and kiwi plants.
It was wonderful to spend some time with a fellow Master Gardener
and encourage all of those coming in for their orders.

This year we are adding a few berries to our landscape.
I picked up 3 different varieties of blueberries.
These are known to bear the first year,
so I am looking forward to a freezer full of blueberries!
Of course, that's not counting those eaten fresh!

A hole was dug so that the top of the soil in the pot
was even with the surrounding soil 
(don't ya just love all that clay?).
I added a bit of compost to the hole 
before placing the bush down.
Then the hole was refilled and I used the excess soil
to make a retention area around the entire plant.
This will hopefully ensure that the water does not just run off.

 Two raspberry plants were added to the mix,
although they were planted elsewhere, away from the garden.
The same procedure was followed,
and we are hoping for some homegrown organic berries this summer!

While working on the placement of the bushes,
I discovered what I think is the lid to our septic tank.
There is a HUGE loropetalum planted right next to it.
(And a few monster azaleas that refuse to be dug up.)
Not sure what folks are thinking sometimes,
when these things get planted.
Until I hear otherwise,
it's gonna stay right where it is.

These feed sacks had done their job killing grass in another part of the yard,
so they will be added underneath the arches to do the same job.

 I'm hoping to do some direct sowing this weekend,
so that I can add to the dismal display of leftover lettuce 
and chard in the hugelkultur bed.
It will be fun to use the companion planting method
and see how everyone gets along!

Wouldya just look at this cute pup?
His names' Roscoe and he followed me home one day when I was out for my morning walk.
He was so sweet and gentle, and so well behaved!
His owner came to collect him a few hours later,
but it sure was nice having him come to visit for a while.

Spring is next week,
is your garden ready?

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