Lofty Gardening Plans

30 04 2008

This week I have to mail out several items. The guy at the post office recognizes me, and usually asks about my bike. It was funny when I went in all dressed up for work one day, and he asked why I wasn’t biking. I wasn’t expecting to be recognized without my bike. That actually made me really happy for some stupid reason. So, I have to mail out a package to my Monthly Adventures Swap partner from Ravelry, which means I have to make a long bike ride on Saturday out to my LYS to get some yarn to send her, along with a crochet hook. I also have a bunch of seeds to mail out to my lsg sistahs. I am really excited about that!

 

Getting those seeds out and getting other people (my online friends) excited about gardening helps get me excited about gardening. I have a lot of planting to do, and some beds to dig up. The first place I plan on digging is that ugly grassy buffer between our sidewalk and the street. I am going to plant it with wildflowers, like poppies, daisies and coneflower, along with some herbs mixed in. I want it to be a little bug garden. I think that that is as much as I will get dug up for May. I have some beds I want to start double digging in the backyard too, but I need to order rotted manure and compost to dig in first. I would like to get some beds double dug this summer, and plant them with green manure crops, like hairy vetch and purple prairie clover. My plan is to leave them until fall, than to dig in another load of manure, and turn under the green manure crops, and then cover the beds in mulch until spring. Hopefully by next spring I will be well on my way to having soil that has much lower clay content, and more “loamy”, and higher in nutrient value since the majority of the plants I want to plant are crops for storing over winter (root crops).

 

I saw a neat way to plant potatoes somewhere, but I can’t remember where. You place four seed potatoes in a square-ish pattern inside a tire almost filled with dirt, then finish covering them with soil. Each time the potato tops get about 8-12 inches high, you add another tire to the stack, and fill with more soil. You do this until the stack is waist high, then let the spuds mature. By fall, you should have about 50 pounds of potatoes to keep for winter, and harvesting is as easy as removing the tires. That is the kind of lazy gardening I can get in on. J

 

What else? Oh, I checked on my “compost” bin yesterday (I had some rotten strawberries to throw in the tub), and I have things growing out of the bin. I am pretty sure it is some sort of squash. So I need to decide what to do with it, and quickly. I am thinking of drilling some drainage holes in the bottom, throwing some potting soil in there, and letting the little seedlings do what they want. But how do I protect them from squash vine borers? If I am lucky, I will get a nice supply of acorn squash this fall (we eat the heck out of acorn squash in the fall). And I figure by this time next year, that tub of rotten veggies will basically be compost that I can add to a more permanent compost pile.

 

Oh yes, boyfriend is getting in on the garden excitement, sort of. He is more than happy to give up the lawn so I can garden, as long as I weed and keep it looking “tidy”. The problem is that I need him to give up some of the trees in the back yard so we can get more sun back there for a garden. He is afraid that cutting down the trees will decrease the property value because they are mature trees. I think that is ridiculous. We plan on being in our home for many years, and I would rather have a productive garden than a bunch of stupid trees. Besides, I would be more than happy to replace them. But I would put them in a better location (right now we have 4 mature pine trees that run east-west right through the middle of the yard, so only half the yard gets full sun, and the other half is a bog), and I would replace them with dwarf fruit trees that would be trained. Then we would get blossoms in the spring, and fruit in the summer and fall. I think fruit trees would be more appealing to future buyers than pine trees that block all the sunlight and house a lot of spiders.

 

Luckily for me, we were watching a show on the cooking channel last night and it was all about blueberries. Boyfriend is a blueberry freak. I told him I could plant blueberries in the fall, but he would have to let me dig up some of the backyard for it, and I might need to remove a tree or two to do it. I think that if I remove the trees gradually, and replace them with dwarf fruit trees as I go, it won’t be as traumatic to him. It probably wouldn’t hurt if I paid the tree removal service myself instead of asking him to do it. If I remove a tree a year, I will be encouraged to build up my garden gradually (good so I don’t get overwhelmed, and can prove my gardening worth slowly), he would object less to it. I think I might start with the crabapple this year. I’ll get some pictures for you tonight so you can see what I’m talking about.

 

I’ll get pictures of the crabapple, the four pines, the buffer zone in the front, and the squashes/pumpkins (not sure which, I threw in a lot of acorn squash seeds and pumpkin seeds over the winter, so who knows?) in my “compost heap”. Thanks for humoring me. I know my posts are long, and people other than me probably don’t read them all the way through, but it helps me feel more even keeled to get it out in writing every day instead of having a lot of nonsense floating around in my head.

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4 responses

30 04 2008
bryan

Don’t cut down the treees, and don’t plant fruit trees. They’re a good idea in theory, but a pain in the ass come fruit time. Your garden can adapt to less sunlight, but mature trees don’t come back for several decades.

8 05 2008
Molly

I’d go for the fruit trees, but the full fledged size. Most peach, pear and some apples are small enough to reach safely, but can provide a nice spot of shade for those summer afternoon out-on-the-lawn picnics. Blueberry plants come in “low bush” and “high”bush varieties. They go well along a fence or around a deck depending upon which size you want. One of my favorite websites is myeasygardening.com. Check it out for advise on landscaping, flower, vegetable and container gardening.

My grandmother made a mean crabapple jelly every fall. She was a wise woman who taught me to follow my dreams/bliss… so go for it!!!!!!!

8 05 2008
jamilynnfitz

Thanks, I picked up a couple of blueberry plants from the local homestore earlier this week. I think I might just plant them in the big tub I have on my deck this year, and re-plant them in the yard next year when I have a better idea of where I want them to go.

My mom always talks about crabapple jelly when I mention that stupid tree to her. :)

20 05 2008
Molly

Way to go! We had planted several $$$ worth of blueberries around the deck at our old house. The Chandler variety were HUGE and very sweet. We lived on a steep lot and you could seethe underside of our deck from the road, ugly. We got this wild hair that we needed a bigger house, so after looking around we found a new construction right across the street and over three lots. Seriously.

The crazy woman that moved onto our old house pulled out every single blueberry, lilac, rosemary, rose, lavender, lupine, columbine, bleeding heart, tulip and daffodil and planted: edelweisses! If you knew the previous owners fairly well (ie; dinners & beer frequently with the Mr and little son), wouldn’t you think she would offer to let us come dig up the plants? hmmm.

They also put up a tall wooden fence around the back yard, but never put their golden retriever in it… he always came over to our new house and left huge deposits of undigested human food in my new garden. The big D came calling and now there is a new young couple living in our old house.

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