I just wanted to take a moment and wish all who celebrate Easter and Passover a happy and blessed holiday, and share this link of a fellow blotanist gardener Andrea in this lifetime.
the home farming project
A while back I mentioned that a very small patch of dirt with good soil, sufficient water and at least eight hours of sunlight a day can produce a surprisingly large yield. Last year I didn't measure the quantity of veggies, so this year I decided to start a little project.
It consists of:
- approx. 20 square feet of soil and 7 pots with almost eight hours of full sun a day.
- plenty of vertical supports
- 21 tomato plants
- 8 cucumber nests
- 12 bell pepper plants
- 4 hot pepper plants
- approx. 20 bean plants
- 6 eggplants
- 4 nests of zucchini
- 2 small rows of radishes
- 1 small row of carrots
- 2 groupings of peas (mostly for the nitrogen, really)
- 2 watermelon nests
- 1 small patch of green onions
- 3 pots of lentils and
- 1 large planter filled with kitchen herbs
I can fit this many plants in 20 square feet while still keeping appropriate spacing because all the plants that can grow vertically will grow vertically: cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, watermelons, beans and peas.
All fertilization is provided by coffee grounds and the ever so great compost pile, yard waste only, no kitchen scraps. The end product of it is a rich humus that smells like forest and mushrooms and seemed to greatly improve the performance of the flower beds.
Once the plants start producing, (this period will stretch from the earliest - 30 days to harvest to the latest - 120 days to harvest) I will weigh and record the quantities in a produce yield table and place a link to it.
Since some of the produce is early and/or seasonal, I will use succession planting and inter cropping over the growing season.
On a completely unrelated note, can someone please, please, please make the cold go away? It's almost May for crying out loud!
If you thought February is when the gardener has nothing to do but wait for spring, that would not be correct: February is planting time.
Every year in the middle of winter my otherwise serene living room turns into a wild jungle, and for two blessed months I live inside a miniature greenhouse. It’s not all fun and games, of course, and between the water and dirt spilling on the carpet on my side, and the lack of appropriate lighting and the mold promoted by the excessive humidity of the starting trays on the plants’ side, come April I look forward to moving the little sprouts outdoors, and they do too. For now, however, their presence is nothing short of bliss. Read More…
Every January is filled with the promise of a bountiful harvest, and this one is no exception. I took a quick stroll through the garden, ignoring the chilly drizzle that has been visiting for the last couple of days. It has been very warm so far, even on the days that usually bring the coldest temperatures of the year.
The wet dirt is dark and shiny, and it surprises me, used as I am to see yellow clay everywhere around the yard. It seems that my efforts to amend the soil during the last few years brought about lasting change. Read More…
If you’ve been gardening for a while, no doubt you know what hardiness zone your pride and joy grows in. You know what plants need winter protection, what plants need to be moved indoors for winter, and what plants won’t be bothered even by arctic winters.
A few amendments to the general hardiness zone information. Strange as it may seem, the latter is not set in stone. The trend in recent years has been for the zones to shift towards getting warmer. Don’t get excited about it, whether or not your 5B zone has now officially become a zone 6, winter will still be gruesome. Read More…
Winter showed up, as expected, covering the ground with a thick blanket of snow. Snuggled inside the house with a hot cup of tea, I quietly looked out into the strange landscape, a blend of snow storm and wind driven fog, its milky atmosphere so thick it reduced visibility to only a few feet. From this eerie cloud that melted into the ground pulling and swirling like translucent taffy, snow kept sifting down, first icy and windswept, then thick, serene and fluffy, then windswept again.
The chill set the watery blanket into its surroundings and for a few days everything looked frozen in place, totally still. Read More…
The year started bleak and frigid, the freeze of Saint John regaled us with temperatures that amount to thirteen below, considering wind chill. Ice, snow, bitter weather, the works. I’m not complaining or anything, after all it’s January, its supposed to be cold.
Looking for a silver lining in the desolate landscape, well, for one, snow protects the perennials from freezing, so that’s a good thing. Snow also provides regular amounts of water, so necessary to the dormant plants, as it melts. And that’s all I have. Read More…