Posts filed under ‘March 2012’
Wow, what crazy weather this is! It is a little scary that is only the beginning of spring and it is forecast to be 80F at the end of the week. I’m sure we will be paying for this in some way.. in the meantime though, I guess we should enjoy the weather and get busy gardening!!
I planted my cold frame in mid Feb and have some nice lettuce mix coming up and some healthy looking brassicae transplants – cabbage, broccoli, mustard greens and kale. I also planted in my new raised bed at the bottom of my deck – I got some Japanese greens seed from a friend and so am trying that out.. The first peas I sowed at the end of February got eaten by a resident vole or mouse – hopefully with the hot weather it has now abandoned its winter home.
Today was an exciting day for the chickens – we put their coop onto wheels and now can move them around the garden, so today was the first day they were moved. They seem to be enjoying digging themselves pits to sit in to keep themselves cool and to clean their feathers. I love watching them, they are very interesting and they always have something to say when I go by them.
I have been using the “deep litter bed” method in their run – mostly leaves with some straw and of course lots of their poop! Occasionally I throw a little wood ash into the coop to neutralize the ammonia – this seems to keep the smell under control. So today after the move, I shoveled all their litter bed into a compost heap at the back of my new garden area. That is going to be some nice compost!
I haven’t been blogging very much since I started teaching a gardening class at Northampton Community College – I am doing one per month until October. Luckily I found I love teaching gardening! I am enjoying sharing my knowledge and meeting lots of enthusiastic gardeners! This season I am also going to work part-time on a small CSA farm called Shooting Star Farm near Easton. I am working for a share in the CSA and so have decided to grow mostly storage crops in my garden.
I ran out of potatoes in late January, squash in February and my onions didn’t grow so well anyhow. I still have garlic, canned tomatoes and kale in the garden. This year I decided to purchase onion plants instead of sets – they arrived last week and so I go them in the ground already. I will purchase some seed potatoes very soon. I wanted to plant them later, but don’t really have anywhere to store them under ideal conditions – probably in the basement is the coolest place right now. In the potato class I went to, the teacher suggested buying them as soon as they come in since when they are stored at room temperature they lose some vigor.
My compost piles that I made last year didn’t do very much over the winter – I just moved a couple of them and they were really dry and had hardly started decomposing. I added some water and made a bigger pile, so hopefully by the mid to end of the season they will be done.