Gardening Project – Getting Started On Our Property

It’s hard to know right away what to do about landscaping and gardening projects. We are new to this property, only 8 months so far, so I am seeing the way the sunshine falls around the yard for the first time. Now that it is March, I am hopeful there may be bulbs of various sorts popping up. But so far, only the sprouts of a few tulips in the front and a couple of narcissis in the back by the compost pile. And one trillium, in the shade under the fir trees that line the back southwest fence.

A trillium in our backyard, March 2014.

A trillium in our backyard, March 2014.

Sometime in November, I stuck garlic bulbs in three rows into the soil of one of the 4′ x 4′ raised beds. In the last week of January, one sunny day after all that below-freezing weather, I noticed the bulbs had all sprouted, poking up their lime green tips!

Winter garlic sprouting, end of January 2014

Winter garlic sprouting, end of January 2014

In the first week of March, the garlics were at least 4 inches high. I planted edibles seeds in the raised bed with the garlic. I tucked lots of tiny black radish seeds one by one all around the rows of garlic sprouts. I also planted kale, mustard spinach, swiss chard and snow peas.

Two weeks after, I planted edibles seeds in the second 4′ x 4′ box which we’d put in the front sideyard. This box, about 12 feet away from the other, may get more sunshine overall, but it does not have the protection of being behind the fence which goes around our backyard, in case we have deer come trotting through the neighborhood this summer and fall. I’m expecting to see performance differences in the two locations as the season passes.
Kale
Mustard Spinach
Radish
Swiss Chard
Snow Peas

Today is March 25. The garlic sprouts are 8 inches tall and most of the seeds in both the beds appear to be sprouting robustly.

I placed two straw bales side by side next to the garlic bed. I am planning to plant with potatoes, especially. To cure the straw bales for planting, I am following this recommended process. Link here.

Water thoroughly for 3 days.
Water and one cup of fertilizer for 7 days.
Water and 1/4 cup fertilizer for three days.

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