Monday, April 12, 2010

Get that garden in

It was a beautiful day yesterday and I was stuck babysitting so I took the opportunity to get the garden prepped. My sunchokes have been in for a couple of weeks and I think that they're starting to poke out. I'm not sure what they look like when they're sprouting but these don't look like the weeds that I've seen popping out over the years in this part of my yard. I'm assuming that they're the sunchokes. If someone knows let me know.

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I also prepped up the corner of the yard that I'll be planting my three sisters garden in. I broke up the ground, got rid of the grass and weeds, mixed in some compost and laid down some mulch. While I was breaking up the ground I noticed that my hop plant was getting invasive. I found a big rhizome breaking off from the main plant. I dug it up, cut it and planted it in another spot along my fence. Hops are like weeds. You can break off a chunk of root that has some shoots growing off of it, plant it elsewhere and it should grow. We'll see how it works out.

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As for the three sisters plot, this is it. I found some blue corn seed locally. It didn't say that it's an heirloom variety on the package but it didn't say that it was a hybrid, either. We'll see how that works out next year when I try replanting it. Heirloom corn is damn near impossible to find. I tried several seed stores and only found one variety of heirloom sweet corn. In my opinion sweet corn is a total waste of space unless you have a LOT of it so I passed on it. I'll also be planting some heirloom scarlet runner beans and some heirloom winter squash. It's a pretty big plot so I'll plant some other things around the edges. I'll probably just stick to root vegetables.

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I've had these potatoes sitting in the basement for a few months now. They were sprouting beautifully so I planted a few of them in a tire. Hopefully, they'll grow this time. These look much better than the ones that I planted last year and they're local. I'm betting on there not being a really serious frost or snowstorm for the rest of the season. I can always replant if there is.

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Last year I had an arugula plant that went to seed. I decided to save it and hang it up in my garage. It dried out nicely and now I have a very good source of arugula seed. I also have a bunch of kale seed from a plant from last year. If it grows then I'll be sure to start harvesting seed from the plants every year.

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Here are my planters in the opposite corner of the yard from my three sisters plot. I planted some frost tolerant plants (root vegetables, cabbage and loose leaf lettuces) that should be OK. That makes two full planters. This late in the year if it does snow around here it melts within a day. Tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, beans and peas are going in the other two planters.

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If you believe the administration then the economy is getting better. I don't buy it. I'd rather rely on my own "green shoots". When gas hits $4-$5 a gallon this summer it's going to put a hurting on everyone. Growing a garden is one good way to save a lot of money. All you need are a few packets of seed, some basic hand tools, access to compost and a source of water. I also want to get some chickens but with the new baby I don't know if I'll be able to swing it this year.


Anonymous said...

U.S. if those are supermarket potatoes, they have likely been treated with chemicals to inhibit sprouting. Although they might do fine, the growth of these potatoes may be disappointing. I suggest seed potatoes if you want the best chances of a good crop.

MN_homesteader said...

We are still getting our 1000 sq ft urban going this year, but we have potatoes, carrots, radishes, and greens in so far. We have urban farming for 3 years now and it was a life saver last year when I was laid off for 6 months.