The only way I seem to be able to keep any sort of garden journal is via blogging. So, if you want to come along for the ride this year, welcome. You can click on the graphics below to get an idea of the space I’m working with. I have a small, urban backyard that I try to make the most of with edible landscaping. Our snow has melted away and hopefully won’t be returning, so I’ve spent the last few days sifting compost and topping up beds. I’ve mail ordered a few plants, strawberries and asparagus, but they won’t arrive for several weeks. I made a trip to the farm supply store today for amendments, seeds, and additional plants. Several perennials and a few fall plantings that survived the snow are already in the garden, so I’ve been working around them and just pulled back their mulch yesterday so they can warm up.

Bed 1: The plan is to reserve this for asparagus, although it looks so lovely and rich with its new topping of compost that it is hard to not start popping in plants. I might make use of it now as a nursery bed and maybe get a few quick crops, like mixed baby greens, from it over the next month or two. The spaces in the concrete blocks surrounding the bed are planted with herbs. I cleaned out dead growth, trimmed, and composted these today.

Bed 2: Green onions, cabbage, lettuce and Brussel sprouts have been hanging out here since last fall. Today I planted carrots, radishes, and Swiss chard, all seed.

Bed 3: Broccoli interplanted with garlic has been in this bed since Fall. I heavily mulched this bed with shredded leaves to protect the plants from cold and heaving. I didn’t remember to cover the broccoli during our last snow, so the plants have some damage. I think at least one will survive, however.

Bed 4: Popped the kale plants in this bed today when I couldn’t figure out where else to put them. The mail-ordered strawberries will take over this bed unless I get a fifth bed built and filled.

Seed Starting: I seeded some buttercrunch lettuce and basil into pots today so they will be ready to go when there is space and enough warmth in the garden.

I’m not a fan of chemical fertilizers, so I put together my own mix of goodies to feed my garden. Usually I go in with my parents, who have a much larger garden, and purchase supplies. Even in smaller gardens, buying bulk is the way to go. You’ll only have to stock up every few years. We have bone meal and lime leftover at their house, so I purchased a 50 pound sack of cotton seed meal today to round out the mix. Also, for the first time, we’ll be using kelp meal, since I was able to find it locally. I’ve been adding lots of shredded leaves to my beds, so I went ahead and worked in some of the high nitrogen seed meal to balance all that carbon. I sprinkled in a bit of kelp to give the new plantings and winter survivors a lift. Next time I head to the country, we’ll make up the full fertilizer mix, and I’ll start using that.

I love this time of year. It’s so full of promise, and the Arkansas heat and bugs haven’t made an appearance yet! Look for garden pics soon!