Raised Beds

January Garden To Do List

Here are a few items you need to do to prepare your garden in January if you want to get an early start on your plantings:

Plan your garden – What do you want to grow?  Are there any new varieties you want to try?  Where are you going to get your plants?

Order your seeds if you plan on growing your vegetables from seed.

Have your soil tested and add any recommend amendments to the soil as you prepare it (plow in the additives like lime etc.).  Your local county extension office can do the soil test for you.

If you use compost, now is the time to work it into your soil.

For those of you with limited space, now is the time to build any raised beds or square foot gardens if you plan on utilizing either this spring.  For more on square foot gardening check out this book and this book review.

square-foot-gardening-system-urbangardencasual

It’s Sunflower Time

This is my absolute favorite time of year…when it is well and truly summer.  Time for swimsuits and running through the sprinklers and for me, time for the sunflowers to bloom.  I watch expectantly every June for the first sign of color on my sunflowers.  For when they bloom, I know summer is really here and the squash and tomatoes will ripen very soon. 

Today has been a rainy summery day.  A nice summer rain is so purifying.  It cleans everything, and even though, it is blah and gray today, I know that tomorrow everything will be shiny green and so crisp and clean looking after the washing the rain gives. 

I have pictures of my first sunflowers and a few other things from my garden.  Hope you enjoy seeing my garden as much as I enjoy sharing it with you.  Happy gardening!

Garden in the Ground

clematis raised bed 1 potatoes and onions hydrangea All Blue Potatoes garlic and tomatoes red cabbage and red clover yellow squash raised bed 1 Black Krim baby tomato Compost piles I finally got everything planted and it is all looking pretty good.  I even have little tomatoes and little squash already.  I planted garlic for the first time last fall and it is all looking great!  I am very excited about harvesting it.  The flowers are blooming and the bees are buzzing.  It has been a perfect spring around here – not too hot, not too cold, not too much rain – I am so grateful!  I keep having nightmares of the floods last year about this time.  The worse thing in my garden this year is my new lab puppy, Luke!  He stays out of the garden until I am out there and then he starts running in circles around me smooshing everything in his path.  He also starts eating the strawberries when I start picking them.  Despite Luke, everything is taking off.  Enjoy the photos and happy gardening in your own garden. 

What Kind of Dirt Do You Have?

I came across this great blog post today about soil – http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeandgarden/2009/03/about-that-dirt/.

At my house I have clay soil, but my clay is different than the clay that they talk about.  The clay at my house is so hard that when I dig a hole to plant something I have to use the shovel to shave the clay out in thin layers.  It’s so hard you can’t shovel like normal.  I will have to take a picture or get a video for you just so you can see how hard it is.

After I get the hole dug (I dig the holes twice as big as I need) and place whatever I’m planting, I mix a little sand and quite a bit of potting soil with the clay to loosen it up.

The post also contains a link to building raised beds.

If you have time you might want to check out the whole Pioneer Woman website and let me know if there are any other good posts there.  Despite being firmly secure in my masculinity, I am a little uncomfortable spending a lot of time there myself (I did scan the Cowboy Food). 

-Jason

Raised Beds For Gardening

Are you thinking about using raised beds for your garden? 

Raised beds offer several advantages such as not have to bend over as much when you work the plants, easier weed control and raised beds are good for small spaces. 

Here is a link to The Home Garden Blog with 11 Things To Think About when planning your raised bed garden.