[Homestead] Garden questions
Clansgian at wmconnect.com
Clansgian at wmconnect.com
Sun Feb 14 13:00:47 EST 2010
> >What have you got growing, James, and when did you sow, transplant, etc?
The weather has taken the wind out of my sails on that account. The plan I
used the last couple of years was to errect a temp green house in the
garden, right over a couple of growing beds that are groomed in the fall for the
purpose. It's a construction of t-posts, 1" pvc pipe, and polyethylene
sheeting. I only expect to get one season out of the cheapie sheeting and so
far it has not disappointed me. When I'm through with it in the garden, it
will be used to cover hay stacks for the summer but by the fall (when the hay
stacks have been combed and no longer need it) it is disintegrating. The
trick is to throw it away before it crumbles into tiny pieces.
Not sustainable, I know, but .... My alternative should the cheapie poly
not be available (and I much doubt it will be available forever) is to use
the canvas made for the purpose.
Anyway, in this area which is usually between 10x10 and 10x20 depending on
how things lie for that year, 3/4 of it is cold and 1/4 is over a pit of
fresh manure covered with 6" of dirt. An green house 1/4 that size or
smaller would be completely adequate, but not as much fun.
But this year the continuous cold and clouds tipped the scales on this
scheme. The cold is not so bad, although it does depend on SOME days above
freezing, of which we've had precious few. But sunlight, quite a bit of it, is
not optional. The cold has been so pervasive and penetrating (not helped by
copious wet) that even the hot bed has failed to heat up.
Soooo ... I've started little trays of cabbage, collard, kale, broccoli,
onions, and leeks in a sort of "bookcase" type frame that fits into the south
facing windows for that purpose. It isn't ideal and the plants only do
well if they are removed to the green house when they are not much taller than
A break in cold conditions isn't expected through March, and this will not
be a good thing. Between now and the next couple of weeks is when I usually
seed peas, fava beans, carrots, beets, and spinach dircectly in the garden.
But it's too wet and cold to even consider it right now. If the weather
breaks to more seasonable conditions, I will seed them in the 'iffy' beds
where they may or may not survive, but it's a small expense in seed and labor
so it's worth the gamble.
Also I have some spinach and radishes under bottomless milk jugs but they
are not making any progress against the cold and lack of sun. I have two
fallow beds piled up with bout 30" of fresh horse manure. I dug out several
2'x3' south facing berms and covered that with plastic as a backup for cold
Like you, Bev, I left half the potatoes cached in the potato field. Much
to my surprise there is not freeze damage after all those days in the single
digits. BUT it is very had to get to them and most likely a depressingly
large portion of them will be pig food this spring.
More information about the Homestead