Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Gardening

I love this tree. It's some type of willow and it's just gorgeous when it blooms in the spring.

So much is blooming and growing around the farm! I'll take my camera out this evening (if it's not raining) and try to get some new photos. Spring is really a beautiful season. It's particularly exciting for us as we see things popping up that we have never seen before (this is our first spring in this house).

This weekend was a busy one. We had a goal of getting the garden done so that we could get lots of things transplanted outside. Time is running out on some of the spring veggies, so we didn't want to delay. I don't have updated pictures yet, but we got the balance of the garden boxes completed. We now have 5 boxes, comprising 200 square feet of gardening space. This 200 sf, took 120 cubic feet of soil to fill. This soil was 'made' by mixing peat moss, compost and pumice/vermiculite. To fill all the newly expanded boxes, we went and got a truckload of compost from a local nursery. Unfortunately (both for us and for our little truck), neither I nor the girl at the register, were confident enough in our calculations. For whatever reason, I was thinking that a cubic yard is equal to 9 cubic feet and so I used that to make our calculations. It wasn't until we got home that I realized that we had purchased 54 cubic feet of compost instead of the needed 18. Ooops. Now we have some compost to ammend the row garden area as well. See, I was planning ahead! ;-)

With a lot of sweat and hard labor, the soil got mixed and loaded into the boxes. The last truckload of river rock got filled into the aisles between the boxes. Part of the row garden area got hand weeded and then covered with some of the extra compost. The rest of the garden will be done as the week progresses and that huge pile of aged dairy poo sitting in our yard will eventually dwindle.

We planted brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, more spinach, mustard greens, kohlrabi, a few left over onions, kale, celery, celeriac, a few more strawberries, chinese cabbage, and more peas. Tonight I'll be starting melon, multiple types of winter squash, and pumpkins. Next week, lettuce and carrots get planted. We are also planning out the row garden area. This will house predominantly, potatoes, corn and beans...but also some tomatoes, some green beans, some lettuce or other greens (in the shade of the bean trellis) and probably some winter squash. Right now, our greenhouse is full of tomatoes, peppers and some early started melons (in pots). We also have our two dwarf citrus trees out there and they are doing really well (navel orange and meyer lemon).

I'm pretty sure that we are making a classic mistake in that there is little doubt in my mind that we are overdoing this. I know that come late summer and early fall we will be innundated with fruits and veggies. Somehow, in the dark of early spring, that is just too hard to comprehend so we over-plant. At least this year, I hope to have family visiting in the summer. They get to help us harvest AND eat our bounty! Anyone else up for a visit? I'm sure the apple harvest could use more hands (and mouths). :-)


JES said...

I can't wait to see the photos! As far as I can tell, I think that tree is a weeping cherry.

Cat said...

Really? Weeping cherry? Cool! Do they fruit or is not that kind of cherry?

JES said...

It's an ornamental cherry. But that shouldn't count as a negative. We all need beauty to nourish us, as well as food. It might produce small fruits for the birds.

I can't tell for sure just by the photo, but it might well be a Higan cherry tree (Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula'). Yours appears to be pretty old. It is gorgeous!

Cat said...

Actually, no eating fruit is kind of a good thing for us right now - we can barely keep up with what we've got!

I just love this tree. The shade it provides in summer is so cool and comfortable. I'm tempted to put a couple of Adirondack chairs under it for peaceful mid-day relaxing!

I do think it's quite old. We have a few trees that are HUGE versions of smaller trees that are clearly very old. The neighbors house was built in 1910, so quite a few trees date back to that time as I believe this was once all one property.