Friday, January 4, 2013

A Case of Spring Fever....

I feel spring fever coming on.  Now that the holidays are over, I am ready for milder temps.  It is nice to have cold and snow for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, but, I'm ready to move on to warmer temps now.

I have been thinking out the garden for this year.  Last year I did all raised beds, and it went so much easier, until the drought hit.

I will be rotating some of the beds around.  And, be checking which beds have bottoms and which ones don't.  Last year, somehow carrots got planted in a 4 x 8 bed that had a plywood bottom in it.  So, we had tons of L shaped carrots.  The tasted fine, but were a bear to pull as they were all tangled up underground with the carrots on either side of them.

We compost year around, so next time we have some mild days, I will get the bobcat out to turn over my compost tub.  I use an old stock tank that would no longer hold water as my compost tub.  About 2 times a year, we turn it upside down and dump it out, then scoop it up and put it back into the tub.  I do that fall and winter, then in the spring I dump it again, but mix in cow and horse manure and dump it on top of the garden beds, about 45 days before I plan on planting.  That gives time for it to break down further and take the heat out of the manure.  Then, right before I plant I will hoe in some new black dirt with it.

Normally I try and start my plants inside in late February or early March.   But last year I bought a mini greenhouse,  and I noticed the plants grew faster in it than normal, so I think I will start them a couple weeks later.

I won't start tomatoes this year from seed.  I found a good local source where I could buy huge plants for a quarter each, so I will go that route again.  For some reason, every time I try to start tomatoes from seed, they only grow so tall, then get spindly and fall over and die.  My dad can do it, but not I.  Volunteer ones sometimes come up in the garden and they do fine if I ignore them.

As an experiment last year, I grew okra in a pallet.  It was a failed experiment, but not sure if it was the way I did it, or the drought.  I might try it one more year and see.  I had seen it done elsewhere and it worked well.

My blueberry bed needs to be made deeper.  And, the strawberry bed needs more protection from the chickens, dog, and the birds.

Last year was also the first year that I planted my row plants  north south, instead of east west.  They did better (again, until the drought hit).

I am also planning on some changes in the chicken pen, but haven't quite got that one figured out yet.

So, until its warmer, I am cruising pinterest, seed and chicken catalogues.

cucumber trellisdeck herb garden in cratesColdframe #2raised beds with trellis

For more garden ideas, follow my garden board on pinterest.com

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