Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Start of my 2015 Garden

I will try to better document my garden this year. Last year I had some injuries that prevented me from working in my garden as much as I needed to. In my April 14th blog posting I mentioned that I had carrots and spinach already growing, from seeds I planted in the Fall.  Here is what they look like now:

I moved two of the spinach plants to give them more room to grow and I put down a thin dried grass mulch to keep down the weeds and preserve moisture. I also opened up both sides of the enclosure so the sun would not over heat the plants. They are still protected from light frost but if a very cold night came they could be damaged. I'll watch the weather reports to make sure it doesn't get too cold. I have already eaten over a dozen carrots to thin them out a little bit and I should be able to start picking spinach next week.

The other thing I have growing since the fall are hardwood cuttings. I took cuttings from apple, peach, cherry, blueberry, and poplar branches.  I did this later than what would be ideal. I don't think any of the peach or cherry cuttings are rooting but it looks like a few of the other cuttings are taking root. I won't really know until the end of summer. You should be able to see some cuttings are leafing out. I have the planting box shaded since cuttings can't stand too much direct sun.

I enjoy tomatoes from my garden but can't eat a store-bought tomato; they taste horrible. Normally, I plant my tomatoes in early June, as recommended for my area. Then I get my first tomatoes in late August and into September until the first frost. This year I am planting them six weeks earlier and praying for warm nights so they don't get cold burned.  It is a bit of a gamble to be sure. But I am trying to protect them with water bottles to hold some heat and also a plastic cover to hopefully keep any light frosts from burning them.  Only time will tell if this succeeds. 

I did more or less the same thing with three pepper plants. Last year rabbits ate half my peppers so this year I am starting them under a cage. I have a double pane glass window panel over them. The glass helps warm up the soil and should keep frost away as well. I also mulched them with dried grass since the sunlight will be concentrated.

The past couple years I have planted peas but they never survive the rabbits and deer. So this year I also put them inside a cage (literally a small dog cage that I found put out for trash). I only planted a few since no one except me will eat them. I love fresh, crisp garden peas.  They are already up out of the soil and look good.


The thinned out raspberry patch also looks very good. The harsh winter damaged a lot of canes and the hungry rabbits and deer ate anything sticking out of the snow. So it is a very thin patch this year. That should not be a big problem though. I expect that the extra light that will get through will cause the canes to bear more berries. Last year wasn't a great one for my raspberries but this year should be.

Lastly, I have a visitor in my woodshed. A mourning dove set up her household atop the wood pile. I wanted to do some revisions to the shed this spring but now I will have to put that off until the chicks fledge and find a new place to live.

Once again I will only be home on weekends so I hope I can find the time to maintain my garden. I still have potatoes, onions, green beans, and blueberries from last year though so I guess I am doing okay.

Get out there, grow a garden, and save money on food. You can go back through my blog for lots of gardening tips from the past couple of years.

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