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Blogging about gardening in zone 4, marriage, our golden retriever and life in general.

Friday, April 15, 2011

April 15 Friday Farming

There wasn't much farming to report upon our arrival home last Sunday. The tulips are pushing through in more places, the grass is growing into the beds, the weeds in the vacant lot seem to be setting up for a banner year. The only thing blooming thus far are the crocuses by the front step; they looked fabulous in the sun on Monday, but this morning's rain put a damper on their enthusiasm.

We're planning on getting the garden set up this weekend, despite the forecast for a wintry mix of snow and rain. I'm hoping more rain than snow, but that seems obvious.

At the top of the list is terracing the garden. We've settled on some sort of semi-temporary mechanism, like 2 X 12" boards, so that we can remove them at the end of the summer and till in more organic matter. Our garden slopes a bit towards the north and terracing helps prevent erosion and promote effective watering. We also packed a bunch of compost into the garden last fall and I'd hate for it to wash away.

We'll also need to install a gopher fence. DJ's been sniping at them in the evenings and on weekends, but he's up against an army of cannibalistic, breeding, plague-carrying rodents, so sniping at them won't get us far. Instead we'll build a 2' high gopher fence, of small-opening chicken wire, to keep the little bastards out. I know there is a possibility that they'll tunnel under the fence to get into the garden, but we'll have to cross that bridge when we get there.

The garlic I planted last fall is poking through!

Once the garden beds are laid out, I'm hoping to mark them off and use the Square Foot Gardening approach to keeping things organized this year. This weekend marks the first time on the spreadsheet for planting things into the garden. Seeds which will go into the ground include:

  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Snow Peas
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Bibb lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Shallots
  • Rocky Mountain Wildflowers (gardening the lot next door to keep the weeds down)
The planted garden will look like this:

I will also begin a few vegetable items for transplant as an experiment. I want to see if Bibb lettuce does better as a direct seed, or a transplant. I'll have a couple "Squares" of it this summer, so I have room to play around. Seeds to start this weekend include:
  • Bibb lettuce
  • Romain lettuce
  • Snapdragons
  • Cosmos
  • Marigolds
  • More broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Leeks
I also need to spend some time this weekend pulling weeds and grass from beds and fertilizing the hydrangea bush. Hopefully we can get down the rain barrel and the deck chairs too!

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