Saturday, February 21, 2009

Back to life and working in the garden

We had a nasty fever virus run it's course through our family for the past 2 weeks. Daniel had it first, then Arianna. Ellen and I were only sick for about a day but the whole family has dealt with cough, congestion and fever at some point. YUCK! We are finally done and have had a wonderfully productive Saturday.

Daniel spent the day putting up a chicken wire fence around the entire garden bed. Our new dog Blue has had a hard time staying out of the area and has been caught digging in the onions and potatoes. With the fence around the garden and fruit trees we can leave Blue in the yard without a worry. Daniel also borrowed a tiller from our neighbor. He used it for several hours to mix and shred all the leaves and manure we've been adding all winter.

Daniel also transplanted some of our broccoli, spinach, and other greens that we started about a month ago. He is organizing the garden a little different this year. We will mostly have long rows to plant instead of rectangular beds. In this shadier part of the bed he planted the winter greens. It is so nice to see green growing in the garden again!

While he was out there, I planted lettuce seed in with the garlic and a few rows of spinach seed. I also started trays of summer veggies--16 plants each of eggplant, tomato, cucumber, yellow squash, zucchini squash, butternut squash, basil, sweet peppers, and southern cow peas. We will be keeping those indoors and bringing them out on sunny days and back in at night.

So if you are wanting to know what to plant in your area right now, check your local cooperative extension office. You can plant spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, onions, potatoes, and more now while it's cold or as soon as the soil is workable. You'll want to start summer veggies 4-8 weeks before your last frost date. You can find that date through the cooperative extension office as well.

You can see in this picture hills of potatoes that have not sprouted yet (Daniel planted those last weekend.) There is also a bed of onion sets not yet sprouted. There is also a bed of garlic sprouts. I planted the lettuce seeds in between the green shoots. A small bed of spinach is also pictured (not sprouted yet) next to the garlic. You can see the chicken wire fencing here too.

Here's a great picture of Blue waiting outside the fence. I don't think he understands why he can't walk around in there. It's interesting that our old dog Jay was never a problem.

Here are the trays of seeds we have started. Four were done today of the summer veggies. The green plants you see are the other winter veggies we started a few weeks back. We usually bring them out daily and leave them on the rail of the deck or in one of the closer vegetable beds in the yard.
The trays you see in the picture above were acquired over the years. We either bought plants in them or gathered them for free from local nurseries. There are 2 plant trays that you see with plants actually growing. Those are called winstrip trays and were given to us by Daniel's dad. They are very sturdy plastic and hold 72 plants each.


William Kruidenier said...

Garden looks awesome -- HUGE! It's amazing that a garden that size can produce more than enough food for a whole family. You'll probably harvest so much that canning and freezing will be your next major learning curve so you can eat all through next winter. Look forward to seeing everything in full bloom.

Laura Parker said...

what great photos of the garden. i am so beyond impressed. can't wait to see it all full and growing. way to go, yall. :)

Lesley said...

Glad to hear the family is feeling better and that you are making such progress on the garden!! We have garlic growing, broccoli seeds sprouted, and are waiting on green seeds to come in the mail...

Jason has also been amendng our soil with beautiful compost from a local grocery store...hope we have better luck this year! It is fun to keep up with each other's gardening efforts via the web!