Showing posts from March, 2013

Greenhouse Ramblings in March

Lots going on in the greenhouse...

This year, I was asked if I would carry seeds or seed potatoes, etc... at my little greenhouse. Hmm, the more I thought about the idea, the more I liked it!

If I am promoting growing your own groceries, your own kitchen garden, then I needed to be able to provide more of the products grown in a typical kitchen garden, things like small fruits (blueberries, currants, grapes, etc..) seed potatoes, of course! and seeds for all the things best planted directly into the soil ...

I checked out several seed companies as I wanted to do something different than the norm. Why carry the same thing as everyone else? I wanted something new, something not carried at your regular hardware stores and large garden centres.

Therefore, after checking out several companies that only sell to small mom and pop or IOG's (Independently Owned Garden Centres), decided to go with Renee's Garden Seeds.
I love Renee's. Have personally been shopping with them for a …

Planting Asparagus

Sweet Purple Asparagus emerges in spring!
How to plant up those lovely roots that you purchased in a mesh bag at the nursery this spring....

Asparagus roots can be planted up 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost, which means anytime after mid-March in our area.

1. Soak the roots for 2 to 3 hours in warm water. If you have any at home, add a few capfuls of liquid seaweed to the water bath.

This step is really important if those roots look very dry, as if you do not re-hydrate them they will die in the ground. Many greenhouses store the mesh bags of roots indoors in heated spaces for several months. The roots then dry out severely and may even die before you buy them and get them home.

* If you are unable to plant them in your bed yet ....  perhaps it is too wet, covered in snow, or maybe not yet built .... pop them into a large pot or planter after you have re-hydrated them. Use a regular potting mix, water as you would any other planter when it goes dry, and keep in an area that is …

Planting Potatoes In Raised Beds

1. Into the Trenches
Dig a trench 6″ deep, into good, rich garden garden soil. Do not add manure or sand as too much of either is apt to cause scabby spuds.

2. Totally Spaced Out
Space the trenches 2′ to 3′ feet apart. The closer together the plants are, the smaller the potatoes will be. If you are after the new, baby spuds, go closer at 1′ to 1.5′ spacing instead.

3. Bring ’Em On
Choose potatoes with 2 or 3 eyes (sprouts) on them. The ones that have not chitted, or sprouted, will take a little bit longer but will still do just fine. When possible, purchase the potatoes 4 to 6 weeks early, place in a light, warm place to produce sprouts.

4. Pop ‘Em In
Place your potatoes into the trenches spaced 12″ apart. Once again, the closer you place them, the smaller the potatoes will be. If you are only after the new, baby potatoes, space them 6″ to 8″ apart instead of 12″.

5. Head for Cover
Cover the potatoes, so that they are 4″ to 6″ deep. Label them with some form of tag, even if you pl…

March Ramblings

Walking out back in the potager with the pups, I am thoroughly enjoying getting my fingers in the dirt again.
However, we have had a fairly wet time of it lately here on the island and so, some days the soil is very wet.

Please note, that while the garden soil is wet and soggy, do not work it.
Do not walk on it, do not till it or turn it until it is dry and crumbly, and do not plant in it.
To do any of these things will be very detrimental to the soil, and will not hasten your spring chores.

It is, however, a good time to test your soil and add your amendments to the top of the soil, incorporating only once the soil is dry.

I try to remember to jot down notes in the journal all the time Plans I made, seeds I started, when I started them...
Begin to journal you ideas and plans for the season ahead.
Make a drawing of your garden and plan out what goes where this year.
That way, you can begin to prepare the beds for cool season crops first, worrying about the warm season crops later o…

Amend Organically for Perfect Soil

So you've made your plans, built your beds, and either brought in some garden soil from the local bulk landscape supplier, or were lucky enough to till up your yard and have fairly decent soil under that lawn...

You then buy one of those inexpensive soil test kits to test your soil pH and the N-P-K.
Pop some soil into the container, some water, mix and wait. Results are quick and give you a fairly decent idea of whether your garden mix is okay or lacking in nutrients.

The N-P-K results...

A healthy Nitrogen (N) level is necessary for your plant to grow and thrive.
If your plants are stunted, lime-green or yellow-ish in colour, you likely have a low level of nitrogen and need to amend your soil.

What you can add...
Manure, especially chicken manure, well composted.
Grow peas and beans, which are nitrogen fixing, tilling them into the soil when they are finished.
Alfalfa meal
Alfalfa or legume hay
Blood meal
Fish meal
Feather meal
Coffee grounds

A healthy Phosphorous (P) level, th…