Blessed with a beautiful day and cursed with a mind tormented, I was ready to garden. Over the past week, I’ve been digging up bed #3. Last year it got more than its fair share of partially broken down leaves and other yard litter, so I decided to sift it to get rid of any unbroken down bits, making it more hospitable to crops. It also had quite a few tree roots that needed to be taken out. Out came the dirt, out came the roots, and back in went the soil with a healthy dose of organic matter (sifted, shredded leaves and dry glass clippings). In an ideal world, all of that prep would have gotten done in the fall and the bed would now be a happy mass of earthworms but such is life. I may wait until summer to put the bed into production to give it a little time to settle, but I haven’t made a final plan of what will go into it yet. I used the excess soil and some sifted compost to top up the unplanted areas in beds 1 and 2, so they will be ready to go.
I have a few crops still occupying their sites from last summer and from fall plantings. My garlic looks great. I’ve also, pushing thing a bit perhaps, seeded some arugula, mixed lettuce, carrots, and peas. I’m a huge fan of homemade seed tapes for carrots, and I’m trying them out this year with the greens as well. Not sure the greens are worth the time and trouble, but for the accurate spacing that carrots demand, they can’t be beat. I make my own so that I can sow squares rather than rows and only one seed per space rather than having to thin. I hate thinning! Its so counter intuitive to my gardener’s spirit to rip up those beautiful baby plants. I have a tray of cabbage and broccoli that I sowed about two weeks ago up and looking good. Not sure what other plants I will bother with starting myself this year. I think I might just support my local farmers market rather than messing with assembling the grow light. It’s getting late for peppers and tomatoes anyway. Perhaps I will set up a cold frame for some basil. Basil…I can’t wait!
See below (click to enlarge) for a snapshot of what is currently planted. See here for the Master Plan and bed arrangement.