Lacey’s Garden – Waiting For The Garden To Dry Out

Still waiting….waiting for everything to dry out before I start planting anything.  The garden is still a mud pit from the rain this past weekend, and it is supposed to rain a lot tomorrow.  I am waiting also for it to dry out enough to get some more horse manure.  I have been told that it is good to place manure in the bottom of the hole you plant tomatoes in. If it ever dries out I will try it and see how good it is.  I did pull up all the beautiful pansies in my planters and replant them for summer.  It is so hard to pull up the pansies but if I don’t it will be too late to get the planters full and bushy for the summer.  I also need to thin the carrots that are finally starting to get bigger.  The peas are doing great, but the spinach and broccoli are not going to do anything.  I am sad about that. Both were new varieties that I wanted to try.  Oh well, that is just how it goes in my garden. Some things do really good one year and then the next year they are a flop.  Happy gardening!

Lacey’s Garden – When To Plant Tomatoes

Yeah!  Everything survived the snow!  Thankfully, the snow melted the next day and the water has drained fairly well.  Our backyard turns into a pond with 4 to 6 inches of standing water anytime it rains, so I have been a little worried about everything drowning.  But, the garden area seems to be draining much better this year.  Everything is looking good and coming up nice and strong.  I will start planting tomatoes and herbs as soon as it dries out.  Oh yeah, it is supposed to rain tonight too. 

It is time to plant tomatoes and such in most places from Oklahoma on south.  If you have dry ground, go ahead and start planting.  It might still frost one or two more times but just cover them with paper bags or cardboard boxes or hay or straw and they should be fine.  Dad always told me that most plants can survive a light freeze (30-35 degrees F) but the frost will always get them.  So make sure they are protected from the frost more than insulated from the cold.  As always, have fun!!

Lacey’s Garden – Watching and Waiting

March 19, 2009

I am still waiting for things to germinate before I plant anything else.  The carrots are just starting to cut through the dirt and the lettuce and chard are the same way.  I planted some mustard as a cover crop in places where I have not worked the dirt as well as I would like.  The spots are along my fence where I am planting beans later and the mustard is supposed to have long deep roots that help break up the soil. It has a lot of work to do for me!!!  The mustard is already coming up.  I think I planted the carrots too deep but they are trying so I hope I did not mess them up too much!  The peas and spinach are looking real good.  Just a few more weeks and I can start planting my other stuff like tomatoes, squash and eggplant.

I am going to add more manure to the dirt when I plant the later stuff.  I am also top dressing all the plants that I am planting with compost.  Top dressing is placing compost in top of the soil around the plants after transplanting.  Enjoy the spring in your neck of the woods!

-Lacey

New Feature On The Plant Pages

tomato-beefmaster We have recently added graphics of the plant tags to each variety page of Charley’s Vegetables.  This will allow you to get a visual on what each variety of vegetable looks like and also become familiar with the Charley’s Vegetables tags.  Now you will know what to look for when you go to buy your vegetables. 

We are currently shipping Charley’s Veggies to southern Louisiana, Dallas/Fort Worth and have also shipped a few shipments in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

If you are in any of these areas and are interested in purchasing Charley’s Veggies, you can contact you local garden center and request that they carry them; or you can leave a comment here on the blog, and we can let you know where the nearest garden center is to you that carries Charley’s Veggies.

Lacey’s Garden – Potatoes

March 11, 2009

Well, thanks to you (and you know who you are) I am now planting potatoes in one of my raised beds.  I still know nothing about potatoes, but after reading a book and talking to some folks I think it should be really easy.  The book called Growing Potatoes by Richard Bird and Alex Barker was very informative and helpful.  My friend suggested digging a 4 inch trench to plant the potatoes in, then covering them with hay or straw (not dirt) and watch them grow.  This method is nice because you can pull up the whole plant to check for readiness without having to dig up everything.  I am going to plant the potatoes all the way around one raised bed and put tomatoes in the center.  Again, supposed to be a good companion planting.  I cut the potatoes with an eye on each section and placed on a tray to sit overnight and will plant them tomorrow. 

UPDATE:  !!!!!!!!!! – Hey! An addendum to above – I was so wrong! Tomatoes and potatoes do not like each other.  I had it in my head wrong and reported it wrong to you.  Sorry.  I am not sure what I am going to put in the middle now.  Any suggestions from you all would be welcome!

Lacey’s Garden – Planting Swiss Chard, Lettuce and Carrots

March 9, 2009

Hello to all!  What a beautiful weekend though it was a bit chilly!   I managed to get Five-color Silverbeet seeds (Swiss chard) in the ground yesterday and today I planted lettuce and carrots.  In the pictures you will notice about 18-24 inches between the carrot rows, that is where I am planting the tomatoes.  Tomatoes and carrots are a beneficial companion planting (I have read about anyway).  I will let you know if I think it is beneficial.  To the right of the carrots there is a path filled with straw then a 18 inch wide row of lettuce.  I just broadcast the seed and patted it down then watered it.  I saved lettuce seed for successive plantings about every 10 days and I have enough Swiss chard for one more planting in 10 days.  It is supposed to storm today.  Hopefully it will not wash my seeds away.  I should have checked the weather first. Lesson learned!  The peas are just beginning to sprout but are not quite big enough for a picture yet.  Now it is water and wait time. 

Swiss Chard Bed

swiss chard bed swiss chard planting

Carrot and Lettuce Beds

carrot bed and lettuce bed

Carrot Bed

carrot bed carrot planting

Lacey's Garden

Lacey is Charley’s daughet and she lives in Claremore, OK.  She will be a guest blogger and sharing with us her how-to’s, tips, problems and solutions about growing a garden full of tasty Charley’s Vegetables.

Here is her first installment:

This past summer I learned of a technique called No-Till Gardening.  It is pretty self explanatory.  It is a method that utilizes the soils own ability to renew itself (think the forest floor).  If given the right materials and time, the flora and fauna in the soil will till it for you.  I needed a way to work the soil in my raised beds that was user friendly.  So I began searching the web.  I ran across this method and had a eureka moment.  The method uses mulch, mulch, and more mulch.  Any and every kind of mulch.  I had some old corn husk hay bales that were decomposing into a lovely black soil, so I broke those apart and spread over both raised beds.  I tried to find every worm that was in them and keep them in the mulch.  This provided many useful things to my raised beds.  Before, the crust of the soil was very hard and dried out quickly; almost immediately after applying the mulch, the soil began to loosen and retained more moisture due to the mulch covering.  I also added table scraps and grass clippings over the course of the summer.  This treatment also ended the takeover attempt by Bermuda grass.  It did not completely control it, but made it much easier to pull up.  And it did lessen the amount of Bermuda that showed up.

Several problems I have since learned about … the first, when things decompose it locks up most of the nitrogen in the soil.  Adding green grass clippings and table scraps caused some nitrogen deficiency problems.  This can be rectified by putting the grass in a compost bin for a few weeks with the table scraps then applying it.  One of the other problems will be this spring when I want to sow seeds directly into the garden.  I will have to brush aside the mulch covering to get to the soil providing a place for the seeds as well as for weeds.  I do not know what will happen.