Gardening

I was born to have dirt under my fingernails and my bare feet on the ground. It is what makes me happy. Living in the city on one third of an acre had not been conducive to farming but in the summer of 2010 I decided to start a couple of rows of veggies on my front lawn. The results were amazing and the produce so delicious that in 2011, I added three more rows and planted around my mailbox and lamppost. No tiller…no digging…delicious food??? Sign me up!

Planting Potatoes on Top of the Ground

Planting Potatoes on Top of the Ground

Well…finally!  A beautiful spring-like day and I was chomping at the bit to get outside and get started doing something…anything in my little garden on the front lawn!crazygoodcreations.comIt really was the perfect day for planting my Yukon Gold and Red Pontiac potatoes – weather-wise AND Mr. Almanac-wise.   Yep, Mr. Almanac said it was a good day to plant root crops!  It also seemed like the perfect time to try a ‘crazy good creation’…a DIY potato tower.  There are lots of ways/opinions on how to do it – yep, read quite a few and then decided what made sense to me, rolled up my sleeves and…

IMG_3430You gotta know that I am going to use a till-less method…don’t own a tiller and am just not that fond of digging so I LOVE planting on top of the ground!

I used some wire we had stashed to build a couple of rectangular cages – no exact measurements here, I just built them in the corners on the side of my garden.  I used the Mister’s tie wraps (have I told you lately that he LOVES those things???) to secure my newly formed cage to the garden’s rabbit fence.  Sounds simple enough, right? Sure was – well, everything except ME cutting and bending that stinking wire…geeeezzzeee~  Anyhow….

Once I got my cage/tower (whatever you choose to call it) formed, I put down a thick layer of newspaper or cardboard and SOAKED it thoroughly!!!

Next, I added hay and pushed it to the sides of the cage to keep the peat moss from falling out of the sides.

IMG_3431I added a layer of peat moss next…I am guessing about three inches and wet it.  Next I added my potatoes.  As you can see, mine are fairly close together.  If you have been following my posts you know that I garden on my front lawn in a very small space so I ‘overpopulate’ what I plant to get greater yields.  Hey, it works for me~

IMG_3432 - Version 2Finally, I covered the potatoes with peat moss, watered them and moved on to build my second cage/tower.  So exciting!

I will keep you updated on their progress so you can see, along with me, whether this method works or not!  Based on my research ( and ya gotta know I researched the heck out of it) it does, in fact, work for most folks.  I certainly hope it works for me ’cause this Southern girl LOVES her taters…especially when she has grown them herself!

Well y’all, the sun is shining and times a’wastin’…I have got to get outside and ‘play’ some more today.  I hope you all are able to do the same!  Happy Saturday and happy planting!!!

Piedmont’s Gardening To-Do List for March

Piedmont’s Gardening To-Do List for March

OK, Piedmont gardeners, you Zone 7’ers!!!  Whether you are a container gardener or full blown farmer, it is time to get your ducks in a row and get started!!!  WHAT???  You aren’t growing at least one edible???  Well then, roll up those sleeves and get started! (See other entries about Till-less gardening in the ‘Gardening’ tab)  It isn’t hard at all and there is such pleasure in putting food on the table that you grow, knowing that it is organic and fresh…there is nothing like it.  Who wouldn’t want to dig into freshly sauteed squash, zucchini, red pepper and onions???photo[47]  This is what Organic Gardening advises us to do during the month of March:

  • In the middle of the month, plant a row of Swiss chard. Tender stalks will be ready to harvest in mid-May—and the plants will keep producing all summer.
  • Also in midmonth, sow other hardy vegetables, such as carrots, beets, kohlrabi, radishes, leaf lettuces, and turnips.
  • Transplant onions, shallots, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, white potatoes and asparagus crowns to the garden.
  • Set out herbs, such as rosemary, chives, and thyme—but not tender basil!

I also have a book, Month-By-Month Gardening in the Carolinas, by Bob Polomski that I refer to as well.  He reminds us that we should:

  • Sow warm season vegetables in flats or trays such as eggplant, New Zealand spinach (heat tolerant), pepper and tomatoes.
  • Vegetables that resent root disturbance, cucumbers and summer squash for example, should be sown in individual pots or peat pellets.
  • Avoid sowing seeds too early or they may be ready for transplanting before outdoor conditions permit.  I use this tool to plan when to sow my veggies.
  • Put a sweet potato in a glass half filled with water and place it in bright light.  Detach the plants from the mother root when they are 6 – 8 inches long, pot them up and then plant them in the garden about three weeks after the last freeze, which for us should be somewhere around the last week of April.
  • Buy seed potatoes and cut them into egg-sized pieces containing one or two eyes.  Allow the cuts to dry and callous for a day or two before planting.  Plant them when the soil temperature remains above 50 degrees F.
  • Continue watering trays or pots of seedlings indoors.

I would add to these lists to continue making notations in your gardening journal about this year’s planning stages.  WHAT?*!? You don’t have a gardening journal/notebook???  Well, get one!Notebook - Picture with KeyTrust me, you will not remember specifics from year to year unless you draw diagrams, take pics and make notations!   Take a look at last year’s diagram and make your plans for rotating your crops to avoid pests and diseases as much as possible.

Yep, things are cranking up around here and I could not be more excited!  My mister is excited, too!  He loves coming home to fresh, organic home-cooked meals…even if his wife does have a little dirt under her nails and on her face every now and again. 😉  Hey…it washes off~

Spring Garden Planner

Spring Garden Planner

Another favorite spring ‘tool’ to download from Organic Gardening…

Spring Planner

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LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS PLANNER!!!

Thanks again, Organic Gardening, for another useful tool!!!