Sunday, October 24, 2010

Garden Update

Last week - shorts and a dry sandbox. This week - snow. Go figure. I have butter softening on the counter, because I need to do some baking, y'all.

Here's the current garden status:

1. The raised beds are finished, and await paint. I got the primer, but then it started to rain. So I'm waiting for time + dry skies to prime. The paint itself? I picked five fabulous bright colors (orange, blue, purple, green, and bright yellow for the PVC-pipe-holder-bits), but Sherwin-Williams had no base. So I'm waiting for them to call and say they have the paint.

2. Once painted, the beds can go straight in, ready for their lasagna. Charles and Grandad got me peat moss, so the layers will start with wet cardboard and then move to alternating bits of peat moss and grass clippings (plus a bucket of cucumber peelings from last night). By March, that should be some delicious composty goodness. I'll add a bag of soil on top if necessary, and call it a day.

3. Friday, I ordered seed. It's lettuce seed, mostly, but a few peas are in there, a bit of chard, one carrot type (experimenting!), and one packet of spinach. The idea is to plant at least one entire bed with lettuce early (March?) and cover the bed with loosely-draped white landscape fabric. That'll keep it warm enough as the winter transitions to spring, but will also ensure an early crop of lettuce for moi. Then I'll just keep sowing all spring, for a cut-and-come-again bed that can supply our lettuce needs indefinitely. I got red-leafed lettuces, romaine, and butterhead. Plus spinach, because a girl needs her iron.

4. This week, we'll call our sprinkler guy and get him to drain and winterize the system. Then, in spring, he'll run little spray heads up into my raised beds, providing delicious water to my veggies.

In total, the beds represent 32 square feet of gardening space. According to the Square Foot Gardening method, that's plenty to feed us, plus some to share. I really believe in planting only what you like and will eat. In our case, a lot of lettuce, plenty of snow peas, and a moderate amount of cherry tomatoes, chard, spinach, bell peppers, and carrots will do just fine, thank you.

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