Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Let the Gardening Begin

Well, here we are at the end of May and gardening should be going full force.  Rain and cold weather has delayed planting for another week.  I learned last year not to be so anxious to plant.  I do have some things planted like onions, potatoes, lettuce, radishes, and dill weed.  I planted some beans a couple days ago but I suspect they will need replanting if it don't warm up soon.  It's been an extremely bipolar Spring.  March was dry and warm; April was rain with 80 degree days; May has been rain and cool.  I'm cautious about planting too much too fast. 
Here is the third layer ready for planting. The first layer are the large plants and the smaller plants just breaking the soil would be the second layer.  The sprouted plants are setting on the corner of the bed waiting to be planted.

Here we have the third layer planted on May 6th and ready to start the journey toward harvest.  After this planting the rains began and the potatoes grew.
And so four inches of rain later and a few warm days .... boom.... potato ganza (party).  So we will see if it really is a good way to grow potatoes.  It's looking good so far.
The cool weather gave me concern and the portable buckets were kept in where it was warm for the low night time temperatures.  The process of moving plants will soon end .... I hope.  Cabbages were planted today.

Cold and misty rain day brings the projects inside.  The installation of a bathroom mirror and taking some unwanted scrap to the scrap yard.  There's always a project to work on whether it be inside or outside.  Early morning tomorrow will net some serious garden weeding.  Isn't it just so awesome to be back in the garden digging in the dirt?

If you haven't had enough you can see more at: http://www.grit.com/blogs/adventures-of-old-nebraska-dave.aspx

Behold, my friends, the Spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love.  Sitting Bull




Sunday, May 3, 2015

Potatoes are stealing the show

The Spring weather has been glorious here.  It continues into May with well behaved thunder storms.  I do like Spring storms.  The smell and feel of a good rain storm makes me feel that every thing is as it should be.  All the water tanks for my back yard garden are filled to capacity.  That's about two months of garden watering.  Last year the Urban Ranch garden beds were watered all summer without intervention.  The new gravity feed watering system works wonderfully well. 

Potatoes seem to be headed for a great harvest this
year.  If you remember last year I tried to layer the potatoes in one bed to have a bigger production but my potato seed rotted from lack of care.  Yeah, it was my fault.  This year I've gone to great lengths to insure the seed potatoes wouldn't rot.   The first planting of potatoes was done on Good Friday the traditional day for Nebraska potato planting.  In this picture you can see the second layer is ready to be covered with soil. 
 
 

 
The second layer has been planted was planted a couple weeks ago and on inspection this morning the plants are very near the third layer planting.  All the potato plants are up and growing strong. 

As you recall I talked about the British term used for sprouting potatoes called chittin'.  Here's the update on that experiment with sprouting potatoes before planting.
 
Yeah, I think it worked a little too well.  You can see little nodes along the sprouts.  These long sprouts were snipped off down to just a couple nodes on each sprout and planted hoping they would continue to grow.  They did indeed grow.  So, yeah, apparently I'm really good at chittin' and didn't even know that I was.

The garden is just two weeks away from being planted with tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, and pumpkins.  Oh, yeah, and let us not forget the sweet corn.  I'm still hoping for a harvest one of these years.  The raccoons are waiting in anticipation for that first bite of sweet corn.  As with last year, my plan is to continue working on the six foot fence around the garden area and get it completed before the sweet corn is ready.  I have eight more panels to get up.  If I have the time, I'm going to build a fence inside the garden from chicken wire covered pallets to surround just the sweet corn patch.  If the double fencing don't keep the critters from snacking on my corn then an electric fence will be put around the corn patch fence.  It's much more difficult to keep wild life out with a fence than to keep livestock in with a fence.  At least with livestock, a fence can be built to fit the critter but with wild life a fence has to be built to eliminate all sizes and types of critters.  The wild ones can fly, dig, climb, and jump.  It's a challenge for sure but then that's the reason I garden.  For the challenge.

For me in the Spring, at the end of the day, it's been a good day if I smell like dirt.

How's your garden growing?