Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Update

Yay Spring!  It's about time we had some warmer temperatures- this week has been great!  I managed to get a lot of gardening tasks completed so thought it was time for an update.

First up, I took time to sift through my compost bin and got a good wheelbarrow full- a lot more than last year.  Alas, it isn't nearly enough, and I really have to up the anty this year to produce more.  The compost bin is still about half full of partially decomposed material, so hopefully with the warmer weather, I'll have a new batch ready to use in a couple of months.
As far as my other composting project, the sheet mulching experiment in the raised beds, I'm starting to think that this technique is going to work.  The true test, of course, will be how well everything grows this year, but so far so good!.  A couple of weeks ago I was concerned the layers of browns and greens in the beds weren't going to be decomposed enough in time for planting.  I covered them with a black biodegradable plastic a couple of weeks ago, and it has really helped progress things along. 

Here is what one of the beds looked like after I removed the plastic last weekend:

There were a couple of frozen 'chunks' but these melted quickly in the sun.  I mixed up the materials and added some compost and a small layer of organic potting mix and voila ready for planting:

I planted some of the lettuce, kale and spinach seedlings that had been hardening off for the last two weeks and covered them with a row cover.  I also planted a few peas which, fingers crossed, will survive the lower temperatures they are forecasting for this weekend.  The garlic I planted on a whim last year is poking up through the soil- I can't wait to see how it grows:

I received an exciting package in the mail yesterday: my seed potatoes from Hope Seeds!  This year in addition to the Pink Fir Apple Fingerling Potatoes, I'm also trying out an early and mid-season variety  (Onaway and Rose Gold).   I'm going to grow them with the same techniques as last year, using 'grow bags', and a modified version of the potato tower, and have plans to build a temporary 'potato box' of some sort.

Happy Spring!

1 comment:

Gardeningbren said...

I would really like to see your potato box and also potato tower. I don't have enough room in my veg garden so this idea sounds perfect.