Saturday, January 24, 2009

Spring Planning and the Double Dig

January 22, 2009 – Freshly arrived back from Europe. None of the 40 seeds I planted before I left have sprouted, but the soil is still damp. I now have two broccoli plants that are ready to harvest. I will do that this weekend.

I harvested the compost from one of my composters and spread it around on the ground where I am going to do a double-dig of about 125 square feet. I realize I don't have enough, so I will need to either pick up more compost or some peat moss. One of the things I am learning is that decaying organic matter in the soil is very important for good growth. Not having that is why it took my broccoli all winter to produce.

I started the double-dig, and it was slow going. Lots of white rocks as big as my head have to be removed. I had put up a temporary fence to keep the dogs out, but I can see they have been in and gotten mud everywhere. My back started to get sore about halfway through the double-dig.

January 23, 2009 – I awoke this morning to find that 10 of the broccoli seeds and 3 of the snow peas have sprouted. I guess they were just waiting for me to get back home. I plan to let them grow for at least a couple of weeks – and maybe a month – before transplanting them outside. The only problem is that the flats are not very deep, and even now I have roots trying to come out the bottom.

Back in the fall when it froze and killed my nice-looking jalapeno (which in December was just about to bloom), I also had one in a container. I brought that one into the garage, and left it to die. Funny thing is that it didn't die. It doesn't look good, but I have some hope that I might be able to keep it alive until time to transplant it outside.

Right now, I am scheduled to go back to Europe on February 16th. I plan to transplant the broccoli and snow peas outside just before I go, as well as plant a row of carrots. Today I also planted 6 zucchini, 6 tomatoes, 16 crookneck squash, and 12 marigolds in a couple more flats. I plan to transplant them outdoors some time after I return from Europe the first week of March. Hopefully they won't be too packed in the flats by then. I am also going to plant some jalapenos in some small pots, which should be ready to go outdoors in March.

I went to Home Depot today and bought two grapevines (Flame Seedless) and a fig tree. I plan to set them out tomorrow.

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