Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Garden Update 4 2015

I posted the After pictures yesterday, I kind of jumped ahead because I was excited. Today we see how it got from here to there.

We start

I am locked out of the closet of my shed and I can't get my rakes or shovels or anything else I needed to level the garden spaces post tilling. This was not ideal, I ended up going to Big Lotts to buy a rake - they only had leaf rakes, which while nice, but not what I needed. I had to go to Wally and hope they had something that wouldn't snap in my hands. Fortunately, they offered two levels of rakes and I went with the slightly less cheap version, its nicer than my existing one, to my memory, and it didn't snap in my hands! It did a nice job leveling the dirt and letting me get the weed barrier down.

This year I did not go with the drip irrigation for the first time since I started this gardening habit. I decided that it was just a huge amount of work to get set up and then to get un-set up and after throwing away yet another set of drip hoses, I decided that I needed to learn about my options.

I bought a very nice sprinkler last year for vacation coverage and it is a jewl. It worked very well and offered options and I said to myself that there was no reason to not move it up to the starting line up for this season. So I did.

It waters both gardens and the yard and the tree and hanging baskets to be named later. There is a lot covered in its reach. I have for years read that its very bad to get the plants wet when irrigating them. It brings bugs, the water can potentially knock off blooms and it wastes water. I get it.

However. I had to run the drip hoses for long periods of time because I had to hook multiple hoses together and the longer your hose is the weaker the flow becomes. I had to have two hoses hooked up to have enough water pressure to get adequate water pressure to fill the monster hose enough to water anything - and then it was never balanced and some parts of the garden ended up soupy and others were barely damp. This is not great.

So, now I'm going to go with top down irrigation. Rain comes from the sky! The plants deal with it. We'll see if there is any change in the quality and quantity of the harvest this year.

The genuine rain from the sky finally stopped falling and I got the rest of  garden in the ground. This year I planted leeks for the first time, I had to look up how to do this and I'm glad because I would have just planted the pot they came in and waited for leeks to happen. They would have happened, but they would have been disappointing. They would have been leaky not Leeks.

I looked online and learned that unlike all the rest of the plants that company sells that you can't just plant the pot the pot they come in. You have to separate  all the individual baby leeks out of the leek bunch and plant them one at a time , and there are a lot of individual leeks! You make a tiny trench and you put the leeks in it, as time goes on you build a cone of dirt around your leeks so that they stay partially covered - like potatoes, this is called "blanching". Its to keep the greens flavorful and supple, unlike potatoes where you keep them covered so they don't turn green and poisonous. Viva la difference .

 some of the leeks, the pellets are alfalfa, I used them liberally.

 Corn, soil amended with store boat bag dirt, manure dirt, alfalfa pellets and coffee grounds

Everyone all together

Okay, totally off topic, I was trawling craigslist and I found this . I don't want this, I don't need this, I'm not sure if I would be comfortable using it  - but  isn't it cute? I mean, if you were into solo camping or just liked being able to go without having to make reservations and just wanted to be able stay where ever you end up or  didn't think it looked like a very well appointed coffin,   or went on over nights to somewhere that didn't have room for you for whatever reason...this would be ideal. It even has a tiny kitchen! I kind of wish I needed one.

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