garden 2016

Feb. 7th, 2016 06:00 pm
ljgeoff: (Default)
It's pre' crazy to think that I can do a garden this year. I'll be into the third semester of nursing school, and I'll (hopefully) be working as an LPN at Hospice of Lansing (well, they told me to call them, please, when I pass the LPNCLEX) -- so it's ridiculous to consider a garden.

Except that *not* having a garden will make me Very Sad. So.

I have three 20'X4' beds (about 7mX1m) and two vertical planters (about 4' high), and I've got some berries planted along the fence.

I'm going to move the raspberries that are currently in my very small side yard to the fence line in the Guerrilla Garden across the street , down from the blueberries and asparagus. That'll give the rhubarb room to breath.

I yearn to do a hanging squash garden.

Because this is amazing.

Not this year, but it will happen.

Here's the plan:

I will attempt sweetcorn and quinoa in the north bed again. This time with a fence. Last year, my neighbor thought the quinoa was over-grown weeds (they are lambsquarters, or rather, lambsquarters are wild northern quinoa) and mowed them down. And then my grandsons had great fun running through the tall stalks of corn. I got one very lovely ear of corn from the whole bed.

Last year, most of the mid-bed was taken up with collard greens, a couple cauliflower, and rutabaga. The rutabaga where terribly tough and wormy. I will try growing them again. Reading about soil remediation has made me more determined. The collards came up nice and we had several neighbors who loved them too. But I think this year, I'll plant at least half of the bed with broccoli.

And the final bed, which was broccoli and zucchini last year, will be tomatoes and peppers this year.

The planters will be strawberries on the top half, and squash and a couple of melons on the bottom. The planters had issues last year with being too dry. I'm not sure if they'll work, but I'm going to try mulching the heck out of the top, because I think I was losing a lot of moisture through the top, with the sun beating down there and all.

I'll also do the potato tires again; I have second generation seed potatoes and I'm curious on how they'll do.

A couple of zucchini will go in back, where the raspberries are now, because if you grown zucchini next to pumpkins, they'll cross pollinate and then the pumpkins have rinds of steel. And they taste a little different.

I've got some seed saved from the last harvest, but a lot of my seed got accidentally tossed, so I'll have to (sob!) look through the seed catalogs and order up some new (to me) varieties.

*happy sigh*
ljgeoff: (Default)

Gonna have to try to make this happen. Hmmm... start with a hoop house frame. This one is maybe, what? 12 feet high in the center? So I'd need 2 20' 3/4" pvc pipe, joined
Put the hoops about 2' apart. So if I want a 20' long tunnel, I'd need 11 hoops. But to hold the weight of those squash ... hm. Looks like they're using some kind of conduit. Or pipe.

But seriously. Tomatoes, melons, eggplant, squash, cucumber, zucchini, grapes, hops... So cool! Imagine a hammock, a book, and something cool to drink. *sigh*

edit: This site suggests using cattle panel fencing:
ljgeoff: (Default)
"If you don't have the proper biology, you're not dealing with soil, you're dealing with dirt, and you can't possibly grow the plants that you want to grow if you're dealing with dirt. What's the difference between soil and dirt. Soil requires the presence of the living organisms in your soil. You must have bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, microarthopods, mycorrhizal fungi -- all those cute little creepy crawlies in the soil. Otherwise, you're not going to be able to grow those plants as you want, where you are going to get the maximum benefit."

"Please realize that before 1986, most scientists had no idea that all of these organisms were important and that they had a role in making sure that your plant stayed healthy."

Watch the above lecture with these slides.

And here's another - Soil Food Web Compost and Compost Tea

ljgeoff: (Default)
The garden was all about tomatoes this year. And broccoli; we had a ton of broccoli. But we also harvested pumpkin, acorn squash, zucchini, rutabaga, sweet corn, collard greens and kale. It's been in the mid-70s all week (22.5ºC - 24.5ºC), which is just weird but expected. I still have tomatoes that are ripening. I'm not sure when the first frost will hit us, but I'm not expecting it for a few weeks.

Next year, I'm hoping to be in my third semester of nursing school, so I'm not sure how much we'll do. But I love it, it makes me serene and happy, so I think it would be wise to find the time.
ljgeoff: (Default)
The tomatoes are coming in! And they are lovely, if not exactly the type I was hoping for. Something is going on with my romas -- lots of green ones and very few reds, so I expect that folks around the neighborhood are picking them. Which, okay. That's why I put that garden over there and I told folks that they could come and pick. In the mean time, the tomatoes I got from the Garden Project, the ones that we didn't know what type they are, are huge beefsteaks. They are so lovely and tasty and I have *tons* of them. So tomorrow is Neighborhood Tomato Day! Every household will get some tomatoes. And I will have several jars of tomato puree.

My corn did not fair too well this year due to Grandchildren. I guess the stalks are just too tempting, so towering and leafy. Of the twelve plants that I put in, only about half made it through the pollination cycle and only half of those have made it to fruiting. Jerome and I shared one last week and it was delicious. Next year, I need to put them a little closer together and I'm putting up a small fence around the whole garden.

I have a ton of broccoli plants, but they haven't produced much florets. I'm not sure why this is, but I suspect that I planted them too late and it's been too warm. I have huge plants with great stalks and leaves and I'm thinking of blanching and freezing both the collard greens and broccoli greens to add to soups and stews over winter. And I'm going to try pickling the broccoli stalks.

I have quite a bit of zucchini that I'm going to be shredding and freezing for sweet bread and cake, and at least six sugar bush pumpkins. There's also half a dozen rutabaga and an unknown quantity of potatoes. The potato plants are still green, so I'm letting them go a bit longer. I actually don't have much expectation for the potatoes because I didn't tend them like I should have, but we'll see!
ljgeoff: (Default)
I just got a letter informing me that I made the Dean's List. Yay!

Today I worked from 9a-3p, came home and had a bit of a kip, picked the boys up from an overnight they had with their mom, went grocery shopping with Luke and the boys, and spent about 2 hours behind the house sifting soil for the tomato beds. It's now 10pm.

I got half of the bed done and six tomato plants in. The boys and a bunch of neighbor kids played in the sandbox up front while I worked in back. I'd say that I'll be done with most of the heavy lifting by the end of the week. Then it's just maintenance and watch everything grow.

I've got all of Jerome's clothes washed but I still need to pack them away and move things around -- put his TV and bed up in the attic and get his dresser upstairs for the boys to use. Mike's over at Sylvia's tomorrow, and I won't be able to get the dresser up without him so that'll have to wait.

Oh, and tomorrow I'll mow the lawn across at the guerrilla garden.


May. 18th, 2015 10:10 am
ljgeoff: (Default)
I posted this over on LJ yesterday, and forgot to put it on DW.

All the seedlings are planted, and I got three tires of potatoes done. I got most of the first swale done, too. I purchased the PVC that I needed to replace the one the city took for the 2nd vertical planter. Tomorrow I'll call the garden project dude for my compost for the towers and rocks for the swales.

We also purchased a second car. We've been limping along with one car for over a year now -- when Sam and Kayla lived with us it was pretty easy because Sam and Mike work at the same place (Meijer warehouse) -- but it's getting difficult now, and if I have to go to classes in September, it'll be very difficult. So, we are the proud owners of a '97 Aspire. Nice little runner, rusty but trusty and 40 mpg.

Also, Silvia gave Mike her lawn mower since she hires someone to do her lawn and she never uses it. It was very generous of her and I'm really happy to not have to always borrow one.
ljgeoff: (Default)
From Dr. Jeff Masters wonderful weather blog:

What can we expect this summer?
Because it's quite rare to have intensifying El Niño conditions at this time of year, it's difficult to glean a confident signal from past events on how El Niño might affect U.S. summer weather. The global effects of El Niño arise from a shifting of showers and thunderstorms into the central and eastern tropical Pacific, which causes a reverberating sequence of atmospheric waves that tend to enhance precipitation in some areas and reduce it in others. In midlatitudes, these relationships, called teleconnections, are usually strongest in the winter hemisphere; for example, Australia often falls into drought when El Niño is developing in Jun-Jul-Aug (see Figure 6). If a strong El Niño does develop and persists into northern winter, the likely U.S. impacts would be more clear-cut, including wetter-than-average conditions across the southern half of the country, from California through Texas to Florida. This month could be seen as a sneak preview of sorts, with soggy conditions prevalent across the central and southern Plains and two unusually-wet-for-May systems reaching southern California, one last weekend and another now on its way. There is some hope for drought relief in the Golden State, given that the odds of an wetter-than-normal California rise sharply for the strongest El Niño events, but by no means would a wet winter be guaranteed. The strong El Niño of 1987-88 (which happened to be the second year of a two-year event) produced a drier-than-average winter from California to Washington.

Given that El Niño tends to suppress hurricane formation in the North Atlantic, the odds of a quiet season in that basin are growing by the month. However, a season with few storms doesn't necessarily translate into a low-impact year: the anemic 1992 season included the catastrophic Hurricane Andrew. And it's possible (though unlikely) to have a busy Atlantic hurricane season even during El Niño. Right in the middle of the weak-to-moderate two-year El Niño event of 1968-70, the Atlantic produced its most active season in 36 years, with a total of 18 named storms, 12 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes--including the horrific Hurricane Camille.

So, the feeling I get is "expect the unexpected." For me in Michigan, I'm seeing very mild, warm spring weather. The garden is doing great.


ljgeoff: (Default)

September 2017

1011 1213 141516


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags