Thursday, March 15, 2012

Warm enough for tomatoes

Not only is it in the 70s today, the nights are above 50 degrees, my trigger point for transplanting tomatoes. Of course, I don't expect it to stay this way. Also, I have not even *started* my tomato plants yet.

A few flowers are responding to the sunshine and warm temps.

I'm first - I win!

The first of the daffodils are growing where I plan to locate a cold frame - and now you know why.

And in second place...

My SO helped me start filling the raised beds, where square foot gardening meets lasagna gardening. Sometimes I am a stickler for rules, but not in the garden. So instead of mixing together 1/3 peat, 1/3 of 5 different types of compost, and 1/3 vermiculite, we just layered the materials into the beds. For one thing, using that much vermiculite was going to be prohibitively expensive. For another, I think vegetables should be grown in the ground, even if that ground is raised, so I am including some garden soil - the clay will help retain moisture. Also, Home Depot had only two kinds of compost and I did not feel like driving around looking for more.


So far, the layers are: homemade compost, wood ashes, leaves, newspaper, peat, mushroom compost, peat, composted manure, peat. Then I added more leaves yesterday, to keep the peat from blowing away. The beds seem "peat heavy" right now, because 3 cu. ft. of baled peat fluffs quite a bit when released from its packaging. But I anticipate adding no more peat to each bed. Instead, as these layers settle and become food for worms, more layers will be added, of grass clippings, leaves, manure, and homemade compost. That should do it - in theory, at least.

More fill!

We filled four of the eight beds. Hopefully, this weekend we will do four more. Then, at some point, I will need to mix up batches for the potato grow bags, sooner for the Irish potatoes and later for the sweet potatoes.

Speaking of sweet potatoes, my attempt to grow slips is a big FAIL so far. I am trying again, with a less wizened-looking potato this time. Also, I moved them out from under the grow lights. Does light hinder root development? Must research.

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