Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cold Frame

When the storm door fell off its hinges, I decided to use it to make a cold frame. Tom made the wooden part of the frame last winter. Then we put the cold frame door over the frame to cover it. I planted mache in it, and when I arrived in early March, the mache was doing fine, despite not having been watered all winter and having been covered with the door. I think soil moisture just wicked in from outside the box.

I harvested a lot of the mache and put some seedlings in pots in the frame in March and covered it with Agribon instead of glass. Agribon is a spun-bonded row cover that allows moisture and air to pass through, while providing some insulation from the cold.

New Gate

This picture shows the new fence and new gate to the south garden. It was built by my friend Brad Cushing and his friend Terry. The gate should keep out rabbits and deer pretty well. Also, now that I have a gate, I can bring a wheelbarrow into the garden. Before, I just a three feet tall piece of chicken wire going around the garden. I stepped over it to get into the garden. This kept out rabbits, but lately the deer have been jumping over it and eating the garden, so I had to make a taller, stronger fence. The new fence is five feet tall.

Over-wintered kale

This shows a bed of over-wintered smooth-leaf kale. Also quite a bit of hen-bit, a winter weed! The bed was covered with Agribon last fall, and the kale is preserved perfectly under this light blanket.

North Garden: planting greens

On the north side of my house, in my newly expanded garden, I planted 100 sq feet of greens and roots: spinach, lettuce, arugula, carrots, chard, beets, and the like. This shows the bed prepared and ready for planting.

Broad fork and regular digging fork

This picture shows my new broadfork, which I got from Johnny's Select Seeds. It was designed by Eliot Coleman. Its purpose is to deeply aerate the soil. It's very easy to use, much easier on the back than the shorter regular fork shown here. However, it does not remove weeds and roots, so I had to use both of these forks to get the bed ready for planting.

Seed potatoes

This picture shows a box of seed potatoes ready to plant. When you get seed potatoes, you cut them into smaller pieces, each with at least one eye. Then you let them sort of cure overnight, to heal the cut and let it dry out somewhat.

pictures from spring gardening

I made some photographs of my spring gardening projects while I was at my garden on Brangus Lane the first week in March. I developed and scanned the film and now I'm going to post some of the results. It's not as convenient and quick as a digital camera, but I love my Holga anyway.

First I want to show the excellent compost pile that I made a year ago, and that is now yielding excellent leaf mold compost. I made it with steel posts and chicken wire. Chicken wire is a great medium for all kinds of garden sculpture. The only bad thing about it as a compost pile holder is that dogs can easily bend it over and climb in and eat kitchen scraps, which is sometimes not good for them.