Monday, April 26, 2010

Sprouts. Lots of sprouts...

I was tempted to take a side trip with the boys to the garden last night. It didn't happen due to time constraints, but the temptation was there, Had I gone, I probably would have found the lovely site that awaited me this morning: all kinds of little baby plants coming up. We've got peas a-plenty, and radishes and lettuce all over. The leeks appear still to be going strong (rumor has it that to get big leeks, you let them overwinter; I have my doubts that this batch will live to see that day), but no bean sprouts yet... unless the evil quail have stolen them. Also no dill nor fennel, but given that my seed stock dated from 1996, I'm not terribly surprised.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

...and beans...

Today we planted beans, and scattered a few more leek seeds to round out those that volunteered from last year. I have high hopes for both leeks and beans, as they come from seed we've saved from last year (or possibly, in the case of the beans, the year before), and because I'm a fan of both of them. Karlyn surprised me with her hearty endorsement of our salt-preserved beans; hopefully we'll end up with bunches of them this year, though if we finally sell our house and move elsewhere, that may become difficult.

We also took the time today to hoe up the remaining maple tree volunteers, and among their remains, to my dismay, I discovered the first of the year's morning glory. The bane of all Salt Lake City gardeners, it has apparently wasted no time getting going this spring. Fortunately the rhubarb isn't yet big enough to have overgrown what are usually the morning glory's best defended strongholds, so we have a few more weeks to really nip it in the proverbial bud, before having to cede vast swaths of formerly fertile garden to its persistent grip.

I realized today that the quarter of a beef we bough in January has lasted us approximately one quarter of a year thus far, with plenty to spare. Realizing that when we have our own cow(s?), the calves they provide will be far smaller than the full grown beef that filled our freezer, it's still nice to think that in at least some of those years our cow provides us with a male calf (we'd likely sell the females), we could accompany it with a pig or two and several chickens, and be entirely set for the year's meat supply. This doesn't necessarily relate to the garden so much, but it's a comforting thought, and bore recording.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ooo... rain

Being of a curious nature, I eventually checked the expected weather for the next few days. And indeed, it is supposed to rain (not that all the wind this morning isn't enough of a sign already). My seeds will be happy.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I haven't used this blog thing for much lately. Various friends and family blog, and sometime I think I ought to join in. I haven't made the leap yet, though, and in all likelihood I probably won't.

The blog is about the most suitable tool I have right now for one specific purpose, though. As we've been working on moving to a new house, one with a few acres we hope to grow stuff on, I've realized we'll need to do a fair bit of experimentation as we learn how properly to handle a more agricultural lifestyle, and it will be critically important to keep notes. Eventually I'm kinda thinking of applying some database technology I've been hoping to experiment with anyway, and writing my own program to handle those notes, but I've not done that yet. Instead, I'll use the blog.

So here goes. Today we planted "Early Frost" peas. This is the second planting, as the first germinated less than enthusiastically. Grandma says peas in particular need to be planted more deeply than one might expect, because they work themselves out of the ground and die if they're too shallow. Of the two initial rows, one has germinated about 60%; the other was a complete dud. So after pulling out about a billion little maple seedlings, we replanted. There's a reason they recommend composting leaves before digging them into a garden, but we didn't have that luxury; last fall we tilled in a bunch of leaves and a little fertilizer.

Karlyn and I seem to have different ideas about what it means to plant "a ton" of peas. Every year we've grown a garden, we've had a couple scraggly pea plants and enough peas that everyone in the family got one or two pods before it got too warm and the plants died, and every year we've thought "next year we'll grow more." And we have done that, but in my view, not enough more. So in the place Karlyn put two rows, I put four, and used up the package and a half of seed we had remaining.

Today we also planted a bunch of radishes (we've always thought of planting those, but never gotten around to it), two kinds of lettuce (head lettuce, and a leaf lettuce mix), and some dill and fennel. These last two sound really neat but the seeds were packed for the 1996 season, so they may not do so well.

All the plantings are covered, the peas with a garden blanket, and the rest with wood-and-wire-mesh cages. Per instructions from Grandma we haven't watered yet. Hopefully we'll get some rain in a few days (I've no idea what the weather man has to say about that; I'd just like some in a few days), or we'll start some light watering.

The boys really enjoy digging. Just not where they're told to dig.