In early March, I started my garden indoors in trays. More than a dozen different kinds of heirloom tomatoes, New Mexico green chillies, eggplant, (one) okra, purple sprouting broccoli, de cicco broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, kale, mustard greens, and spring onions and leeks.
Everything is doing really well. About a month later, started a bunch of cucumbers and some melons (mostly pickling cucumbers and a few long tasty Asian varieties).
I made my own potting mix using worm poop(!) , peat moss, perlite, and a random bag of compost from the store. It works well, holds moister really well, stays evenly moist, and by the look of the plants – has plenty of available nutrients. It also smells really good.
In the tunnels we’ve sown a few different lettuces, arugula, bok choi, spinach, tat soi(a cold & hardy relative of pak choi), and a Mesclun mix that boomed.
We made 2 tunnels using 1/2″ PVC, bent and stuck in the ground, with painters plastic draped over, then buried the edges of the plastic.
One of the tunnels came loose during a crazy wind storm a week ago. Other than that, they’ve held up well, and I’m actually surprised at how well they work. They really help the germination rate by keeping the soil moist and the air humid (especially useful here in Colorado where its pretty arid). I think I only spent about 15$ for both the PVC and plastic, and still have plastic to make another one.
I use soaker hoses and drip irrigation all throughout the garden. It really saves water – and waters more effectively. That’s my big secret for gardening in Colorado. The dirt is good – we just don’t get that much rainfall, especially in the middle of summer. Soakers and drips are hooked to a timer that waters for 15 minutes at 5AM (which is a very good time to water).
We put the broccoli starts in the ground a few weeks ago and they are starting to grow now. We covered them with plastic containers with the bottoms cut out. Now they are starting to outgrow them, so I took them off.
Some of the broccoli are kinda weak in the stem, so I’m hoping a little breeze will toughen them up.
The potatoes (below) are being experimented on this year.
I’m growing them in big chickenwire baskets. As they grow, I’m going to cover them with straw and/or dirt – to the top of the baskets.
Supposedly with this method, you can get the same amount of potatoes from one basket as a 40′ row!
Last Fall, our landlord gave us a bunch of strawberry plants from her garden.
We planted them pretty late, so I was worried they wouldn’t survive the winter. But it looks as though around at least half of them made it through. We also inter-planted garlic with the strawberries that will be harvested this summer (hopefully a years supply).
Below is the compost: I just tied some pallets together with bailing twine to make a box! (Next to it is the FREE wheel barrow I scored off my buddy Craigslist. It still has the $40 home depot price tag on the side).
That’s about it for now. Our ducks should be arriving this week (!) so I’ll be sure to get lots of pictures. That’s right –ducks! We ordered 7 females so we can raise them and eat their eggs.