Saturday, March 5, 2011

Scallions, garlic, spinach and onions

It's been a very productive few days, not just with gardening. I'm slightly knee deep (more like ankle deep now) in a redecorating project of the guest bed room. That is really in it's final stages, since everything has been painted, all that's left are the little accent parts: the night table that I'm stripping and repainting (hurray for chemical strippers!), the lamp I got from Salvation Army that I spray painted to match the sconces, buying a lamp shade for said lamp, buying outlets (the outlets in that room were black. And I have it on good authority, since we pulled off the cable connection cover, that the room was originally painted a light neon/pastel pink. I'm not a fan of how that room probably looked before the house was sold) and outlet covers, buying a fancy cover for the light switch and spray painting THAT to match the sconces and lamp, and putting on the drawer knobs that I am also spray painting to match. That's gonna be tomorrow. 

But since I deemed this to be a blog primarily about gardening, I will now discuss gardening progress. And what progress it was! 

Friday I cleaned out the raised bed that had been left behind by the previous owner. My guess is that it's about 5x5. I cleaned out the last of the weeds and worked in some manure/humus that I'd gotten from Lowes, so it would be ready for the onion sets that I bought. I also wanted to plant the last of my garlic, and try again with my spinach. 

Like I said back in November when I was trying to grow anything and everything indoors, and bought a bunch of seeds that I couldn't plant yet, I did try to get some spinach started in a self-watering container, but those didn't even try to sprout. I'm a little dubious about it this time, but if it doesn't work, I'm going to just buy some transplants. Bryan's not a fan of spinach, so there's no point in growing a ton of it. 

Then, today we made another raised bed. A few weeks ago, along with a rototiller from the 1950's, my parents gave Bryan and I some 8' long boards to load/unload the tiller with. This morning, we went over to his parents house and dug up a bunch of "virgin soil", loaded it in his dad's truck, they grabbed a 12' piece of scrap lumber they had, and brought it back to our house. 
While they assembled it, I worked on cleaning out the 3 piles of dirt we found after getting rid of all the leaves. I haven't decided what exactly I'll do with those. Bryan's mom suggested vining crops, like melons. I have some zucchini growing, so I might put a couple of those plants there. Or I thought it would be good for potatoes/carrots/beets. We'll see. I might have gotten in over my head.



 All filled and ready to plant! Now to figure out what to put here. My biggest problem are delusions of grandeur. I want to plant a ton of veggies so I never have to buy them from the grocery store again. But where do I keep them all? And where to plant everything? How many potatoes will I really get from each seed potato? I love potatoes, maybe I should plant 80 of them and eat potatoes forever? I work 40 hours a week, how will I have time to weed and water and chat it up with my plants about my day at work? How much of this is gonna be ruined by bugs and pests and animals? Do I plant more to make up for the possible loss? I should start small but I really want to go BIG. (That's what she said)

Here you can see the 3 dirt piles. I kinda wish there were about 7 more.

 So once everyone was gone, I finally started planting. The 4 rows you see here are onions, but the first two rows I planted the sets closer together so that I could used them as scallions- 40 in all. And the other two rows have almost 30 onions.
After that I planted 2 rows of garlic equaling almost 30 cloves, and 2 rows of spinach. Since those have to be spaced out more, I only planted 13 seeds in all. 

Where to go from here? Guess we'll see. My plan is to plant several berry bushes (blue, black, rasp) along the fence (at least 2 of each for cross pollination), and then since it was such a good suggestion from Bryan's mom, I'm going to follow through with it: farther along the fence I'll plant my tomatoes, cucumbers and the pea and snap pea seeds I just bought at Home Depot tonight.
On my list of veggies left to plant are beets, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, various herbs, and strawberries. I bought some strawberry seeds last fall, but I'm half considering buying seedlings and scraping those seeds all together. Part of me feels like I need to give it a go anyway, especially considering I spent money on it....
Since it's raining tomorrow, I'm gonna work on redecorating things, so I won't have to think so much about how many/what/where/when to plant. 

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