|From In the Garden|
Here in my vegetable garden I have: spread compost over all beds except the one that had manure added to it last fall (I had five wheelbarrows full of finished compost-woohoo!), mulched all of the beds with paper bags and/or hay, put the tomato cages in place in preparation for planting the tomatoes (May), cleaned up loose leaves and begun planting.
What have I planted you ask? Well, the lettuce is mostly in place. I planted starts of bibb lettuce and red lettuce. I have a flat of seedling lettuce in the greenhouse just waiting until the right time to plant out. The plan is to grow vining crops over the lettuce in hopes the shade will make the lettuce last longer this summer (you can see the edge of the A-frame in place and ready for bushel gourds and cucumbers). Mr. Fix-it loves salads so we are hoping for a bumper crop this year; which will hopefully make up for last year's dismal crop of everything.
I found room for red cabbage next to the dormant banana trees. The Jimster loved the cabbage I grew a few years ago. It was really easy to grow but some years it is picky and does not do so well. We shall see how it does this year and if it can mature before the cabbage loopers move in.
I have also planted the peas (not shown) in two thickly sown rows of two different kinds of peas. I purchased new seeds this year after remembering that almost none of my old pea seeds sprouted last year. So far the new seeds have been in the ground eight days and have not shown up yet, but I'll give them a few more days. The sun might help by warming up the soil a bit and we are finally expecting an appearance by the sun this Friday-yahoo!
The lettuce seedlings I planted last fall finally succumbed to the cold. Sigh. It's okay because the Chinese cabbage (green patch in the above pictured coldframe) and turnip greens (in front of the coldframe) are looking very healthy and happy. I'll be harvesting them soon. I've read that Chinese cabbage can be eaten as greens so that will be a new experience and one I hope that tastes good. The plants sure look great! They have not been bothered by the cold or pests.
You might notice the bales of hay in the above picture. A friend gave me three bales of hay that she had sitting in her front yard all winter. The hay is nicely aged and very heavy. My plan is to cut a few holes in the bales, add soil and compost and plant peppers and zucchini in the hay bales. I've heard this method works well because the hay holds so much water and really makes a nice medium for roots to grow into. If the hay bales work well then it will be a boon for my vegetable garden. Hay bales can be placed in a very sunny spot and do not take up valuable bed space so I'm excited about being able to fit more vegetables into my small vegetable garden (approximately 24'x 20' oddly shaped garden). Has anyone else planted hay bales before and if so how did it work?
What are you plans for growing vegetables this year? Any lessons learned from last year's vegetable gardening? Tips for making it better this year?
in the garden....
Happy St. Pat's Day today-be sure to wear your green!
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,
In the Garden