Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Sunday Afternoon Planting Day

Hi boys and girls!
This weekend was a big one for the garden. We are starting to see seedlings (lettuce, peas, spinach, beets) emerge. The lettuce and cabbage transplants from Stan are regrowing after transplanting. We planted radishes, more onions, even more onions, and broccoli raab. (Every update is a spelling challenge for me. Know why? I think it is because so many of our plants are from other regions of the world and they take their local names.) The little garden is >1/2 planted. The back garden is 1/3 tilled but nothing's out there yet.
Indoors, Stan and I have planted lots of crazy stuff, and we are stumbling through growing viable transplants. We have some successes and several miscues as well. One lesson we learned this year is that the cold weather transplants can get spindly to the point of not being able to support themselves when placed outdoors. For cold weather crops, this is possibly due to too little light and too high a temperature, common conditions indoors.
Today Mickey and I purchased some herbs for the back herb garden, a new project this year.
Maybe the big news is the success with the compost pile. It's hot! Actually, this was pretty amazing. As you know, our compost bin - well, it wasn't a compost bin because it wasn't composting anything. It was just storing our compost material until we figured out how to kickstart it. On Friday afternoon it was cool as ever and packed with lots of leaves. I've seen non-mulched leaves take ~3 years to decay, and I couldn't bear to think of fiddling with those leaves for the next few years. So, I took everything out of the bins, placed it on the back garden and mowed the dickens out of it. Then I placed everything back in the bin, added some 12/12/12, and watered it. I had no expectation of any other outcome. But Sunday afternoon, we witnessed the magic, the pile was actually steaming.
I included this little story for a couple reasons. First, it's amazing how some things work so well under the right conditions, but only under those conditions. After all, last year we tried everything we did this past week. But we didn't have the formula quite right. When we got it right, we got almost instant results. Second, this incident illustrates one of the reasons I garden - it's that I am inquisitive. I love to understand how things work, and often a garden is a puzzle to work on.
Here's another lesson learned this week. Last year we had a HUGE onion harvest. Remember that? Probably not because you didn't see many onions because they all rotted 2 to 3 weeks after the harvest. We found out why, we think. We used onions that are intended to produce onion greens, not bulbs. The curious thing is that the bulb-looking baby onions (sets) produce onion greens. If you want to produce bulbs, you plant the ones that look like they'd produce greens! They call these "slips". Who'd a thought?

Rebecca and Libby stopped by this past Monday evening, and we had a great time planning her garden. Somehow Mickey and I ended up coloring with Libby and Rebecca. We had at least as much fun coloring as we did planning. (Libby, thanks for the color selection tips.) This experience is related to the "Temple of Awesome" that I mentioned last week.
OK. "Temple of Awesome", what's that? It's an art project that Asa is helping a friend create. It's most easily understood by visiting and seeing things for yourself. You can even participate if you like. The artists have their idea of what the project means, but it means something a little different to me. If you give the project much thought, you could quickly conclude that it doesn't have much of a point. To me -
Well, it's getting late. I'll tell you in the next update.
Regards, Kim


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Anonymous said...

Kim - "You go guy"! I truly enjoyed your "fruits" of hard labor last fall. I hope to, once again, be the recipient of your bountiful garden goodies this year.
Good Luck! Your garden ALWAYS looks beautiful. norm

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