Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hula Hoop In The Garden

I've decided I need a hula hoop. Not for my waist, though it could sure use it, but for the garden. And who knows maybe I'll use for my was the rest of the year. Confused. Well, I was going through my seed catalogues and my pile of seeds deciding what I needed to order. Lots more than I thought looking at the seeds I'm low in and the years the seeds were harvested. And that list doesn't include the few new varieties I'm going to try either.

But before I even got out my seed box, I looked on the Internet to find ways to better organize my seeds. Well, that was a bomb since unless you buy just little packets- I don't, then a file organizer or much of anything else better than a box just doesn't exist.

So I moved on to thinking about how to better time my plant starts and plantings. The year before last, I found I started my pumpkins and squash way too early giving me these huge plants that got frost bit. And I made such a muddle of things I never did decide if a head start really helps? More confusing because I put seeds along next to the plants. This year I'm really going to try to mark things so I know if the effort pays off. Maybe you already know. If you do please enlighten me. I do know I had the hugest pumpkins that year. I'm leaning toward yes for pumpkins but maybe not so big a deal for buttercup squash which doesn't have to get so large.
Partial seed order

The tomatoes I've started at times too early too. Okay, every year too early. That being I've only been doing this a few years now under the grow lights. And I forgot to tell you what happened to my tomatoes this last fall. Oh I brought in a few Glacier and Siberia tomatoes from the garden that had lots of little new tomatoes on them. Remember we were eating tomatoes the beginning of July from them. Well, the little beggers were soon covered in aphids. Not an aphid to be seen in the garden but bring the things in and they hatched like crazy. Next time I'm going to shake all the garden dirt from the roots and replant them in store soil. We'll see what happens. I read too nitrogen rich a soil encourages them. Wish I knew. Oh how I hate that idea of using store soil but I've research in vain for a solid reason why my soil is great outdoors but changes indoors. Now the herbs I brought in are fine even though they were next to the tomatoes. That gives me an idea to plant tomatoes with herbs in the same pot.

Okay, I'm off the subject here but the point is I'm haphazardly doing things and my tomatoes are too big but my peppers which grow much slower are too small. I know, I know. If all else fails read the instructions right? Yeah, so with the New Year comes new resolutions. I need to be smarter about the way I do my gardening. I see we will be depending on it more fully in the future as prices are reported to continue climbing.

To fulfill this goal I studied the great little descriptions in the Irish Eyes catalogue for each individual type of seed, plus those start and plant times on the seed packages. I soon realized I couldn't check these each time I wanted to start or plant something or I'd waste a lot of time. The results would be like before where I end up just throwing things in pots or planting seeds in the garden when I'm doing the other plants or seeds that I really know something about. So hence, a chart is formulating that will be updated and tweaked each year. I HOPE!! That's the plan anyway. As much as I get buried down in paperwork and hate it, I can see it is the pavement to success.
During a cooler moment when she felt up to watching a movie on the computer.
I'll go in to this in more detail in the future as the chart takes a better form than hurried notes as I cuddle next to our oldest grandchild while her fever rages on. Yup, I just thought the other two would skip the dreaded flu since it was a week and a half ago since the little grand daughter was down with it. Got to just love those nights like last night where you get two hours sleep. NOT!!!

My chart notes are 3/4's complete so look for them in posts to come. Along with goals for my garden. I'm guessing I'll get to add a bit more as I cuddle with the little ones on the bed tonight as they watch something on the computer.

One plan I'll share with you. Thought I'd forgotten about the hula hoop didn't you? Well, besides planting carrot seeds with chicken wire putting one seed per hole, I'm thinking a child's hula hoop would work great for corn. I still want to try planting my corn in hills, circles or whatever you want to call them. A child's hula hoop is 28 inches --oh, that's probably around not across isn't it. Well then, an adult's hula hoop which is 40 inches would be great. I think. I'll just have to go and find one and measure. I need an approximate 2 foot diameter circle with four plants spaced eight inches apart around it. The corn planted in this manner will be Painted Mountain a new variety that "is bred to be the hardiest corn in the world" , says the catalogue and can be eaten fresh or dried. I'll have to time the planting where this variety blooms two weeks different than my sweet corn in order save seed from it. It is a colorful multi-colored corn that takes only 80 to 90 days to mature and can be planted before the last frost. Sounds like my kind of corn. We have cold springs and go from spring to summer in a hurry in this country.

In the middle of this circle will be Black Valentine bush bean which is another new variety I'm trying. It is reported to be a cross between a pole and a bush in the manner in which it grows, The extra nitrogen it pulls in will be used by the corn and around the bean I'll put in white clover seed to grow for an added boost of nitrogen too. In this manner I should not have to redress the corn with nutrients throughout the season. Talk about companion planting huh,. Yup, that's what I need with my limited garden space, more efficient use of my area.

Next, I just have to tell you about the Ghee I made from goat butter, my research, and my conversation with my doctor about it. When, only the good Lord knows as I deal with sick children. That's why the silence yesterday.

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