Monday, May 7, 2012


Husband moved several more buckets of compost to the garden before plowing. It could still use a hundred more.  It's so much better now than when we moved in, but it's still so sandy and dry and lifeless.  Plowing and discing went better this year, with the final result looking almost like it had been rototilled.  Progress.
Harvest 2012, lol.  15 potatoes, 1 onion, 1 carrot, and a car were salvaged during the process.
I spent most of the morning in greenhouse #2.  I trimmed the hanging fence and pinned it down with tent pegs.  Placed logs for walkways (no 2X6s this year), covered the floor with landscape cloth, and then I must have lost my mind.  It was 95°F in there when I started.  I never checked the temperature when I left.  The weather has been so beautiful for the past couple of weeks, and the added heat in the greenhouse, and I somehow managed to talk myself into transplanting cucumbers.
It's too early.  I know it's too early.  We aren't frost free until June 6th.  The poor little things are likely doomed.  I'll be starting a new batch of seeds in the house today.  I may get lucky and have extra cucumbers, but I'm pretty sure these little ones are doomed.  I didn't measure for square foot gardening, but the landscape cloth is about two feet wide, so it made positioning the logs pretty easy. 

After Husband finished plowing the garden, we moved out back, to the 'oats' field.  When we moved in there was a nice sized clearing that I had planned to grow oats in.  The years have come and gone, and the only thing we've accomplished with it is to clear a trail and dump last year's chicken coop clean out there.  Meanwhile baby poplars and alders have been springing up and up and up through it.  #1 cut down the little trees, I piled them up on the edges (more future hugelkultur beds), Husband plowed it up and disced it. 

Unfortunately a good portion of it is clay, but a good portion of it is also a rich black soil.  It won't see oats this year, but rather, it will be a squash field.  I'll make compost hills across it, and plant squash directly in those, with maybe a few dry beans around each.  Maybe even a bit of corn, to a three sisters garden.  It'll definitely be a plant it and forget it crop.

Killed a mosquito yesterday, and saw the first blackflies.  How nice of them to show up together.  Blech.  High of 18°C today, low of 8°C, and rain in the forecast.  We could use some rain!


  1. Good save on the car! lol Watch this film. I saw it Friday and it has completely, forever changed my mind about how to grow food. It could have left off the preaching and been more palatable to me...whatever.

    Then, you can quit plowing and tilling and such.

    1. I haven't seen it yet, but I know you're not supposed to plow (compact the soil) or till (expose soil microbes to the sun). I am fighting twitch grass here though (a symptom of bad soil), so I plow, I till, I weed... I make improvements where I can (compost, wood ash, cardboard, landscape cloth, and now hugelkultur). There just aren't enough hours in the day, or money in the bank, to get it all done at once. I'll get there someday, but it'll be a bit.

    2. Twitch grass? Now, that just does not sound like a nice grass! This guy just covers it all up instead of fighting it. He covers it. Smothers everything. It's amazing. Now, the find lots of ground up trees!

    3. couch grass, twitch grass, quick grass, quitch grass, dog grass, quackgrass, scutch grass, witchgrass

      All the same thing. :(

      I'm working a lot of ground. I do use cardboard and landscape cloth to cover the ground, but I never have enough to do everything. It takes almost two years to kill the twitch grass, and it comes back as soon as the land is open again. It's a royal pain in the arse.

    4. One of his main chores is finding enough newspaper!

      He says it smothers the grass whereas cardboard does not. Soooo, that is why the grass did not die off very well under the cardboard! I have never heard of any of those grass names, but I am probably the only person who hasn' He made a point of saying that he did it one piece of ground/garden at a time.

      It all seems logical and looks like it works. Of course, I am not working it! But, it was a chore for me to get cardboard down in a 4x4 foot square, so you know I am not one to follow...too slow. I was amused that he had two teen girls and a boy on hands and knees, spreadig newspaper. Again, I need other hands and tougher knees around here.

    5. Well, I'm up at half past insane-o, so I thought I'd try watching the film. Nothing's happening, I don't think. I'll leave it for a bit and see if it starts or not.

      How does he keep the newspaper from blowing away? I've tried newspaper in the past, and all it seemed to do was make a mess and kill the plants I wanted to keep. Cardboard is more stable, stays in place better. I'll take a picture of the section I did last year and post it later.

      That's the kicker there- one piece at a time. If you're single, or maybe a couple, in a good growing area, you can start a no till garden, and add on to it every year as your family and needs grow. If you're a family of 6, in a bad growing area, and you need the space right now, it's much more difficult.

  2. Wendy - i am pretty impressed with your harvest 2012 and it's only may - bahahahahah! you guys are moving right along! sorry about the cucumbers - ya, it was a little early but sometimes it is so hard not to go seed crazy - ask me! i know! i have a whole porch of things growing and nowhere to put them - arghghghgh!

    your friend,

    1. lol. I know that feeling. I haven't quite got to that point yet this year, but the peppers are nearly begging to be repotted, and that'll do it. No more shelf space. Otherwise, I think we'd make it through till June. You've got lots of great shelves on the way though, so you'll be okay!