Saturday, March 6, 2010

Garden beginnings

Just a year ago, I wrote a blog with the same title. Knowing that we were going to have to move, I'm not sure why we started seeds at all! I'm pretty sure every last seedling died, mostly neglected in their little trays.

We'll do better this year. We've got two beds ready to go and one that still needs to be built (after the snow melts). Technically we should have started our first seeds last Wednesday. (Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, thyme, celery, spinach, parsley, and swiss chard were on the calendar.) But we're on a gardening listserv here and people started talking about their planting schedules. Some folks couldn't help themselves and started planting weeks ago! Then others said they had done experiments and found there was very little difference between yields, etc if they planted indoors now or if they sowed directly outside starting in May!

So we're slacking off a bit. We'll still start indoors, but we're not holding ourselves to a rigorous schedule.

We decided to set up our seed trays in the mudroom. Here's the mudroom at the beginning of last month:

A disaster!! After a day or two of work, it was mostly ready to go:

Of course it has been a month since this shot and the place has filled up again! It's just too easy to dump things back there to be dealt with "later." Anyway, we're planning to bring in an extra door we have and lay it across the railing there, then attach an enormous light from the ceiling. This should be happening... any day now...

In the meantime, Jeremy has been drawing numerous garden plans:

I think what we're growing in the garden is:
sweet peppers
kale (maybe)
blood sorrell
ground cherries

For herbs it's: rosemary, basil, peppermint, lemon basil, thyme, wormwood, chervil, mustard, cumin, cilantro, and comfrey.

For added flowers we're planning coneflowers, hyssop, black-eyed susans, nasturtiums, and sunflowers.

We've been reading about companion planting, permaculture, beneficial plants and that sort of thing. I'll probably do a post on that later. If you are unsure what some of the stuff in this list is - I probably am too! It's all Jeremy's idea. =)

To make things even crazier, he's put together a plan for planting a cornucopia of fruit and nut trees/bushes/etc: peach, pear, shagbark hickory, blueberry, strawberry, cranberry, lingonberry, hazelnut, currant, gooseberry, and elderberry!! At least, I think that's it...

Some trees require a second tree in order for pollination. But, the trees don't have to be right next to each other. They could be 100 or maybe 200 feet away. So a neighbor of ours a few houses up the street has agreed to get a matching pear and peach tree so our trees will all produce! I love that kind of cooperation.

Not sure when we're going to plant seedlings or when the snow will finally reveal the raised beds. But you know I'll post as soon as we make some progress!


Dwelf the senior raincoat said...

Ambitious! Curious how you grow the broccoli or brocolli? Companion planting, or ? How do you, if you do, keep aphids, especially wooly aphids and various caterpillars at bay? In the past, an old girlfriend and I grew broccoli in the middle of potatoes and it was bug free! Coincidence or random chance?
Anyway, you should post all your great successes keeping vermin from your veggies.

Dwelf the senior raincoat said...

You are an inspiration. I shall now be more aggressive in my home plantings, and we are trying to grow a garden at the church too to feed the world!
I noticed you didn't have ZUCCHINI on your list. Also I have some extra seeds of Sweet Passion Muskmelon in case you're interested. I grow my melons up a trellis to save space.

carolynagain said...

Wow! You guys are tireless. I'd enjoy seeing pictures when it all starts going in.
With a new garden list this long, you almost might as well add bee hives. Do you already keep bees?

I envy you your melon plants. Do you/your friends/neighbors have to eat those all immediately, or is there a way to store the surplus?

Aimee said...

Well, we've never grown broccoli or melons before! So I don't know about keeping pests away. I DO know that rhubarb leaves are very toxic and you can make an insecticide of sorts from boiling/soaking rhubarb leaves. Haven't done it yet. So we'll see what buggies we get this year and what to do with them. The worst thing we had two years ago was blossom end rot with one tomato plant.

We don't have a beehive but that is hopefully in the works for next year. We just don't have the time this year!
I don't think melons can be stored very long so we'll have to eat them right away. I'm sure we won't have trouble with that. =) I think we'll be growing a couple short-season varieties since our season is so short here. No worries - details will be forthcoming on everything!