Spring Garden Update

Spent a bit of time in the garden tonight. Hard to pass up 70 degrees and sunny.

I’ll start with the good news first.

There is green in the garden!  The peas are comping up pretty well and I am hoping to hold off the pill bugs long enough to get them up off the ground and out of harms way.  Radish plants are doing well along with both the Romaine and Salad Bowl lettuces.  The spinach is a little spotty, but I am hoping enough of this first planting will grow to get us by until I get the second batch started.

The peas are coming!  The peas are coming!

The peas are coming! The peas are coming!

Another view of the peas.  Trying to be a bit artistic but not sure I puled it off.

Another view of the peas. Trying to be a bit artistic but not sure I puled it off.

Short row of radishes

Short row of radishes

 

Now, as for the bad news…I’ve got another busted raised bed that is in need of repair this spring before I can plant in it. At some point, there won’t be enough left to repair and I’ll need to replace them.  Until then however, back to Lowes for another set of 1x1s I can cut down to make spikes I can drive in to shore up the sides and posts.

Another busted bed again this spring

Another busted bed again this spring

A weekend of garden prep

With the weather actually quite warm this weekend, it was nice to finally get a chance to go out to the garden and get things ready for the new season.
I raked out all the undecomposed grass, leaves and pine needles and repaired the three busted corners. Nine more support stakes and a lot of dirt digging and I think I am ready to plant.

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Garden bed with winter debris and broken corner.

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Cleaned up and repaired garden beds

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Winter break is almost over

While you wouldn’t know it by looking at the weather outside, we have now officially entered into spring.  So, that means it is time to wake up, stretch and start planning the 2014 garden.

To start, I took a short survey of the garden beds to see how they fared this winter.  Sad to say, three of the four originally constructed beds are going to require more repairs again this year before planting.  As can be seen by the pictures below, the problems are the same as that of the past couple years.

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Broken bed corner

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Second broken bed corner

Now, on to more exciting planning, I have started laying out my plan for what and where to plant this years vegetables.  I started off with last years plan and attempted to work in a bit of crop rotation along with my experience in plant spacing.  I had a number of crops that were planted too closely together and while I am sure to do that again this year, I am really trying to learn and give each vegetable its space.

2014 Planting Plan

2014 Planting Plan

Finally today I have done some shopping and preparing my list of seed purchases.  Looks like costs have gone up, not that I should be all that surprised since it seems the cost of everything goes up each year.  I really need to look into saving my seeds from year to year and save some of that money.  I tend to leave them in the garage or some other inhospitable place rendering them less ideal for spring planting.  When seed packets were just a couple bucks it wasn’t that big of a deal but with prices getting up to $5 a packet, the total seed order is getting quite expensive.

September gardening

It was a wonderful September day to do some work in the garden.

The weather in Ohio can be pretty volatile.  We’ve been known to have some pretty harsh winters and some sweltering summers. This week give us a hint of both. On Tuesday (Sept 10th), the Garden Weather Station recorded the highest temperature of the year, 97 degrees*. In just four days (morning on Sept 14), the low temperature was a nice and chilly 40 degrees.  A swing of 57 degrees.  We also managed to finally get a little rain.  You won’t see it on the weather page though due to the return of the spiders gumming up the rain gauge again.

Despite all the changing weather, I am still getting tomatoes and cucumbers.  This has been the latest in the year I have had cucumbers still being harvested.  My family (and neighbors and coworkers) have been spoiled this year with all the fresh cukes.

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Still getting cucumbers

I spent a couple hours in the garden today doing some of the clean up that I should have been doing over the last few weeks.  I removed a number of weeds, the two squash plants, the pole beans and dead leaves from the cucumbers, brussels sprouts and lima beans.  In the end, I filled a lawn back with discarded plant debris.  As can be seen in the pictures below, it was a great day to be in the garden regardless the chore.

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Beautiful September day in the garden

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September sky and sunflower

 

* The thermometer still reads a degree or two high when the sun is bright and hot.

Two tons of small river rock

Or also known as “Ohh my aching back”.  After all the new construction last spring, a number of new garden walkways were created.  I was out of steam (and had already spent enough money), so I left the spaces between the beds and around the perimeter as bare dirt.  With the recent rains, the walkways were getting pretty muddy and the weeds were getting off to a fast start.  So, with an 18% off coupon and a weekend that was dry, partly sunny, and not too nice to be booked with fun family activities, I decided it was time to take knock this off task off the list.

After some calculations, it looked like 2 tons of Small River Rock from the local mulch/landscape provided should do it.

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Two tons of Small River Rock

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Graveled Walkways

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Hired Help

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Finished Path

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Adding the finishing touches

In the end, the job took about 2 hours to complete.  Having someone in the garden helping make the job go a lot quicker.