Playing in the dirt

on Thursday, April 15, 2010

I've started posting pictures of how things in the garden are progressing, and yet neglected to get these older pictures posted! Oops! Hey - I've been busy playing in the dirt...

You know I had already started a bunch of leeks and bunching onions/scallions awhile back in the basement....but I wasn't done there. Awhile back I placed an order with Dixondale Farms for Lancelot leeks and Candy onions...and they showed up a couple weeks ago. Here's what it looks like when you get a box of onions and leeks. (Notice the "breathing holes" in the box - boy did it smell strong!)

Here's how things were looking in the garden last week, after I tilled in all that composted horse manure, but before I received 4 yds of "bedding mix" (a combination of top soil, compost and sand) from Eagle Creek Growers to add to the soil and top off the raised beds. Why the extra additions? Our yard is heeeeavy clay, and when I tilled in the garden bed, I basically made a giant bowl that holds water really well. Only that's the equivalent of drowning the plants that are trying to grow in it. So over time I'm working to improve the soil in this bed AND to actually raise it up a little higher (to improve drainage).

A couple days ago I posted a picture of the lettuce and radish seedlings. Here's what they looked like on April 2....not much to look at, eh?

And here's where the peas were planted on April 2. Don't ask about the odd spacing - I meant to leave the same amount between rows, but was working backwards, and kinda goofed.

Here's the two varieties (one hard-neck, one soft-neck) of garlic I planted last fall. You can still see some of the holes the voles left over winter. Looks like only a few heads of garlic didn't survive winter - and I don't know if that was from the cold, from too thick a layer of leaves/mulch piled on, or if the voles ate them.

This doesn't look like your normal gardening, does it? Just a bunch of holes? Actually, each of those holes is about 8" deep, and has a baby leek plant dropped down into it. You don't fill the hole back in with soil - instead you let it slowly fill in over time, just from waterings, rain and the wind. This lets the leeks slowly grow up out of the holes, and creates a longer blanched area, which is the more desirable white area of the leek.

Loooots of onions here, plus some lettuce seedlings I grew in the basement. The lettuce look like they had it really rough, but trust me, they're already perking up. I don't normally grow my veggies from end-to-end in these raised beds, but I'm trying something different here. I need lots of space for the onions, so I gave them about 2/3 the length of the bed. The peppers will need to go in in about a month, and when they do, they'll need about 2/3 of the bed. So my plan is to start harvesting onions from the "pepper end" of the bed when it's time to put the peppers in. Let's hope they grow enough in that time to make this experiment worthwhile.

That's all for today's garden update!


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