Saturday, April 21, 2012

Garden Update

Okay, okay, I know, I shouldn't have left everyone hanging for so long, but I'm back now.  We had a great day of planting the other day and now I'm just praying for no frost for the rest of the spring.

We are really working the Ruth Stout - No Work Garden program this year.  It feels like a lot of work right now but I am confident that it will pay off around mid summer.  The principle component is mulch.  Let me repeat that in all caps: MULCH!!!  To help you understand I have some pictures of our recent work.

Here we are mulching our tomatoes about three weeks ago.  (The plants were originally planted in our greens patch with the greens still standing.)

We "chopped and dropped" the stems, then laid down cardboard on top of them

Then we covered the cardboard with straw making nests for the plants
Half-way there

All done!
So the tomatoes are done.  We put out the peppers in the same fashion but on freshly broken ground.  (no pepper pictures right now)  The eggplants got some special treatment because they tend to have extreme insect problems.
The plant gets planted in a basin to help capture water.

White plastic is laid into the basin to help repel flea beetles.
Paper or cardboard covers spaces between the plastic squares to keep down weeds.
All is covered with a generous helping of straw or other mulch.
This eggplant is a holdover from last year.  A surprising number of garden plants are actually perennials if you have a greenhouse to keep them in.
We plant all anything we can in basins just like the eggplant picture.  This is a drought gardening technique.  Here is the winter squash bed!

Turning fresh ground

Removing weeds
Large basins created with two seeds planted in each of three spots in the basin.
The squash basins are then surrounded with the same cardboard and straw mulch.  Are you catching a theme here?  The cardboard and straw isn't possible everywhere . . . yet!  Here is the onion and carrot patch:
You are looking at the dark patch between the two piles of straw!
The onions and carrots are not yet big enough to be mulched in, but in a few weeks, guess what??  More straw!!  By the way those two piles of straw are sweet potatoes close in and Irish potatoes farther back.

It has been a busy time, but I have to say that there are few places where I feel better than when I am in my garden!


abbie said...

Hey, I'm with you, it does look like a MIGHTY lotta work, especially considering the name! I wish I could get you over here to help with mine. ; )

Barb Schanel said...

I am still a true believer! I'm looking for a weed free garden this summer!

Wish I could get up there!