Week 8 – Finally we get to plant

Woo Hoo!  Today we worked in the garden and had a camera truck.  The weather has cleared and we hope the last snow is gone.  Unfortunately the lettuce, kale and other cool weather greens didn’t make it through the 7 degree weather we had a couple of weeks ago so today we planted up some new crops.  It was great to get our hands dirty and play in the soil. 

Today we worked in the alley garden.  We torn down all of last years tomatoes, turned the soil, made our waffle beds and planted 5 gardens and 3 trenches of potatoes.

If you have soil that is well worked you can get out and plant up your cool weather veggies.  If your soil is more like clay like most around here wait a couple more days for the soil to dry out so it doesn’t become to compacted.  The soil in the alley garden is well worked with lots of compost. 

First we took our pitchforks and turned the soil in each bed.  Next we made our waffle gardens.  This is the way the Indians of the southwest use the soil to their advantage here where there’s not much humidity and so dry.  You can make a waffle garden whatever size you want it to be.  A couple of square feet or four square feet, whatever you choose.  Around the edge of the garden build up a wall of soil.  Make sure you pat the soil down so the wall is well compacted so when it rains or you water it won’t wash away.  You will be able to flood the garden or when it rains it will contain the water where it is needed.

Next we raked the gardens smooth so we could begin planting our seeds.  We took long boards and placed them in the garden so we can make straight rows.  Take whatever seeds you want to plant and read the back of the package to see how deep and far apart to plant your seeds.  Take your trowel and run it down the board to make a nice straight row.  Place your seeds and cover them with soil. 

Cool weather crops we planted today were carrots, radishes, beets, and arugula.    Maybe some peas, hopefully someone planted some peas and beans.  It’s definitely time to plant these so if you haven’t done it yet get it done by this weekend.  These crops will be ready by late May or early June and we can harvest and start planting tomatoes, squash, eggplant, and all the hot weather crops.

Joe and Rob II dug up some trenches to plant potatoes.  To get your potatoes ready to plant, get some seedling potatoes and cut them into pieces.  Each piece should have an eye.  The eye will sprout and make new potatoes.  Let your cut potatoes sit overnight to dry out a bit.  Dig your trench about 6 to 8 inches deep.  Place your cut potatoes about 6 inches apart.  It doesn’t matter whether the eye is up or not but I always feel like it gives it a head start if it’s already pointing up.  (I’m sure it’s all in my head)  Cover the potatoes with a couple of inches of soil.  When the potatoes start growing (they will always grow right under the top of the soil) cover them with more soil.  Keep doing this until the plants are too big to cover.  When potatoes get too much sun they turn green and should not be eaten.  The potatoes turn green from chlorophyll and that’s not good for you to eat.

It was a great day in the garden.   Tools used today were pitchforks, shovels, gloves, kneeling pads, rakes and trowels (or the ever popular hori hori knife).

There is another Dumb Friends League Garden Tour again this year so next week we’ll start sprucing up the garden and the perennials should begin to start coming up. It will be a full four weeks of gardening to get it in shape for the tour.

Hopefully our cold weather is over and there is warm weather ahead.

Happy Gardening!

To view this week’s segment visit: http://www.9news.com/rss/story.aspx?storyid=332555


About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
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