Sunday, March 21, 2010

Garden Happenings!

I am just so thrilled that it is time to get planting! HOORAY! And I'm not planting while bending over a big pregnant belly like last year!

Our fig tree has begun growing some babies instead :)
The cover crop is full and lush and about two feet tall now. I only cover cropped a small area this year, the rest of the garden has had several years and I think is good with just additions of compost on top now. I'll be all about NOT disturbing that soil and all of it's organisms now. This last zone will get a haircut and till in a few weeks when the bell beans begin to bloom.
This is about a third of the area that will be covered with a variety of corn. I'm growing less sweet corn and trying dent corn (also known as field corn) for the first time. I have this idea that I will grow, harvest, soak, and grind or mill our corn for tortillas for the year. We tend to go through a lot of corn tortillas and I'd love to be able to get by without the plastic packaging and I'm sure homegrown will be tastier than anything purchased (even my favorites which are made right in Salinas!). What can I say, I'm an optimist! Here I have marked the path and center chill/snack/play zone with some sawdust. I planted flowers and Wade's Giant Indian Corn in this first area.
The seed is gorgeous. As in stunning gorgeous. It's hard to tell from these photographs but each kernel is like a sparkling gem in the sun. I'm very pleased with the seed quality!
I also started transplanting the little seedlings into bigger homes. I was going to direct transplant everything but the tomatoes don't have their home ready yet... maybe will finish today.
I've decided to move the old kid's digging area to the patch in our lawn (in the pic below) that has never done well for whatever reason. Well, really it's because this very end wasn't prepped as well as the rest. We had cover cropped and gardened for several years in the location where the native grass went because we moved into raised beds and the rest of the garden. So here I will put 6 rows of compost on top of the soil with mulch in between the rows. I think I'll have room for 10 plants per row which makes 60 tomato plants! I'm so excited! (I keep saying that don't I?? can't help myself)
The future home of the digging zone! We may even build a teepee over it and bring in some sand. Or just leave it a simple mud hole, that's what the kids seem to enjoy best anyway.
I also just put an order in for about 20 Black Copper Marans day-old chicks which are due to arrive Wednesday and am mailing in an oder for some more Buff Orpintons and Golden Laced Wyandottes from Sand Hill Preservation. I threw the idea of a few Dorkings around but decided to wait on that. I can't seem to find good stock locally so they will be mail-order day old chicks too, hopefully not far behind the others -- perhaps 2 weeks tops.
I'll have to do a harvest post this week, we've been enjoying cauliflower and beets and parsnips and a wide variety of greens, some of them new to us.


Sherri said...

That is so cool Erin! How exciting you're already harvesting as well. I managed to get our early garden in on Tuesday....mesclun, spinach, onion, garlic, scallions and some broccoli. The weather has been so great I hope it starts up soon!


If you grown heirloom tomatoes could you please share what you use as supports. I'm thinking of stringing my tomatoes.

Erin said...

Maybelline I'm going to have to figure that out for this many tomatoes. I usually use 6" wire welded fencing but I don't have enough of that for 60+ plants! I'm afraid strings wouldn't be strong enough to span the lengh of my rows.... I do have a whole stash of nice hemp twine I could use.... going to have to put some thought into that!