Friday, March 25, 2011

Starting the Garden

The weather's been kind of iffy lately.  Mother Nature seems to be having some wicked mood swings.  For a while, we were up to and above the 70s.  This weekend, they're calling for an inch of snow.  I'm sure in a few months, though, I'll be looking back at the 60 degree days longingly.

A few weeks ago, I started our container gardens.  I planted some garlic, one onion that came from our CSA that was sprouting in the kitchen, different varieties of potatoes from the CSA that sprouted (including a purple flesh variety!) and some more Mary Washington asparagus. The garlic is already growing, the onion has taken off, and the potatoes are just now poking through the soil.

*B* and I took advantage of the nice weather over the past few weeks to get rest of the garden going.  We actually tested our soil in the raised bed for the first time.  Given that, we filled the raised bed with topsoil (big mistake, now I know better), the nutrient levels weren't all that bad.

The first thing we did is turned over the soil that was there.  Some of the perlite that we had added settled out to the bottom and needed to be reincorporated.  While we were turning the soil, we found the strangest thing - three large baking potatoes.  I never planted potatoes in the raised bed, I had some in a plastic container next to the bed.  Is it possible for potato roots to grow through the bottom of a cracked plastic container, through concrete and into a raised bed??

We added a bunch of compost (homemade and store bought, both) as well as organic soil conditioner.  I think we're all ready for this year now.

One weekday night last week, *B* dug up the soil around our fence that used to keep our dog out of the garden.  I planted sugar snap peas all along that fence.  It's my dream to have a fence and a trellis of sugar snaps in early June.  Here's hoping they'll grow in our iffy soil!

Last weekend, I actually got to planting in the raised bed.  I planted two types of lettuce (Bibb and Butterhead), two types of sugar snaps (Mammoth and Sugar Snap), rhubarb (Victoria, an experiment), radishes (Easter Egg and Scarlet Globe), and spinach.  I'm so very excited to see how these harvests come out now that I have a year of experience under my belt.

I've started seedlings inside, or at least tried.  *B* and I went to a gardening class that said we HAVE to start with sterile potting soil.  Wouldn't you know it, the things I planted in random soil are doing well, and the things I've planted in sterile soil haven't done a thing.  Hmpf.


  1. That sounds so nice! I should really get working on our garden. I'm not sure when I should plant since we're still getting frosts, but I guess I could get the beds ready. I want to add some more next year.

    May all your experiments succeed!

  2. Thank you! I've heard around here that you shouldn't plant most plants until Mother's Day weekend. Given what happened last year, I think I'm going to follow that rule.