Monday, May 20, 2013

long weekend planting

YAY GARDEN! yes, we finally got one of the beds done. our first experimental bed started as a grassy meadow of a lawn.. the dirt and some of the grass was overturned, layered with cardboard, and then with various leaf mulch,and a blend of composted sheep manure, sandy topsoil and black earth. we are limited on funds this year so we work with what we get for cheap or free. so far we made out pretty well.. we had plenty of plain corrugated cardboard from the move.

however the move was at a time that made it hard to start seeds before the last frost, much of what we sprouted at the old house didn't survive the move. we have had better luck directly in the ground with the lettuce anyway, it already looks better than it did inside.

the main bed was planted with seedlings from the farmer's market, and some from the grocery garden centre. in between we are experimenting with making the groundcover layers of different low-growing plants from seed such as beets and turnips in a couple spots, and then lettuce mix throughout. once the sprouts start to show i will go in between where there is still space and drop some romaine or other lettuce seeds that will benefit from periodic shade of the taller plants around them.

the planter box with the already sprouting lettuce was infiltrated with carrots, beets and parsnips in patches throughout. we are experimenting with building dense polycultures, some plots we will intentionally overplant to see how much food mass a single plot can hold. this must be done carefully with attention to companion plants, root depths and how much space the plant itself will need to thrive.

tonight i think we may start some of the wildflowers and sunflowers in some peat cups so they are ready for when the ground is prepared for them. otherwise their sprouts would get lost in the meadow! also we have a few spare totes from the move so i'm thinking i will use one to make some super rich compost. Matt drinks a lot of coffee and we eat a good amount of eggs [shells!].. plus we have pulp from the juicer. mix that with some of the brown stuff from last year's leaves and a bit of water and see what we get!

in other news, we discovered quickly that this house doesn't have a hose hookup outside. i'll tell ya i've been getting a good workout going from the downstairs tub up and out to the yard a bunch, but i don't mind.. for now. by next weekend we should have our first rain barrel set up to collect off the roof. also i'm storing all of the water from the dehumidifier in a tote outside for soaking the soil. we seem to pull about 3-5 liters a day out of the air in the basement of this old house... that's a lot of humidity! keeps the basement super cool with all the windows closed too. that and a couple of air circulator fans and it's easily ten degrees cooler down here than on the main floor. love it! well there's a bunch more work to be done, ta for now!

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