Saturday, April 4, 2009

Digging In (and Out)

After the whining from the other post, I thought I'd instead try to post as I work on my massive to do list. Today, after making another batch of laundry detergent and taking Midnite to get her shots, it was gardening time!

Since the theme for my son's science fair is "Go Green", his project is going to revolve around our gardening efforts. Last year, we mostly grew our vegetables in containers, which worked great, but required a lot of watering and some of the tomatoes suffered from blossom end rot, which I recently learned is caused by calcium deficiency. Our ground is mostly fill, so tilling up the soil isn't going to work for us. I kept reading about "no dig" gardening a/k/a "lasagna" gardening, so we're trying that (with some modifications). Basically, no dig gardening involves layering soil ingredients on top of layers of wet newspaper or cardboard and planting on top.

We laid down cardboard in the shape and size that we wanted our new beds to be and soaked it with water to encourage it to break down more quickly. In an effort to save money, we used composted leaves as our first thick layer. The leaves collected by the borough are piled up in various locations and the pile we used was a few years old and prime compost material. We did buy some topsoil and composted manure and layered it on top.

I wanted two long beds with a path between. I'm not sure if we are going to cover them with plastic or not.

Gardening efforts are underway inside the house too. These are my Amish Paste Tomato seedlings from seeds saved from last summer. Out of 72 seeds, 66 came up (we're not going to talk about the ones Midnite uprooted.) I've re-potted about half of them in pots made from old newspapers, I need to do some more this evening.

These are the poor tomato seedlings waiting to be moved.

Here are some pepper seedlings grown from the $.20 seeds at Walmart. Out of 72 seeds planted, 11 came up. Don't go for the cheap seeds.

I know this picture is really blurry, but I've never grown chard before. It is such a pretty color and practically grows in front of your eyes!
Not exactly a Victory Garden, but as long as it keeps us in fresh veggies, I'll be happy.
Tonight, I am going to attempt making yogurt. I'll let you know how it turns out!

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