Categorized | Projects, Using Nature

New Lettuce, Asparagus, Transplants in…phew!


This is where another great part of life begins, eating the new lettuce which has grown for about 6 weeks  already.

new-garden-lettuce-and-asparagus

New Lettuce and Asparagus

 

 

 

 Mix in the asparagus and chives, strawberry and pansy blossoms, a few new Saskatoon leaves. I could live on my own if I don’t get too tired…it sure is a pile of work. I remind myself again that at least I’m doing what I love.

saskatoons-in-bloom

Saskatoons in Bloom

 

 

 

 

I’ve spent a lot of years of my life too far from town and too broke to have green stuff in the winter. In fact it wasn’t much better in the summer when I was still short of cash, and was lucky to go to town once a month (if the creeks and weather co-operated, but that’s another story). Not having it makes it appreciated so much the more. There’s only so much enjoyment that I can get from growing wheat greens in the window when there’s 3 feet/ a metre of snow on the ground.

We try to eat mostly the root vegetables, frozen,dried or canned garden peas, beans, corn, squash, onions, berries, pickles and herbs that I grow and preserve each summer. That’s balanced by plenty of wild game and not much tame meat.

 

 

I was hoping today was going to be cloudy so the transplants would do well, but instead it turned hot and bright. I’ll just have to keep their bottoms wet until we get a wet day.

planting-tomato-rows

No greenhouse for these tomatoes

  

planting-supersweet-corn

Planting the corn

Note:  The tomato holes have crumbled egg shells, bonemeal, and a tablespoon of epsom salts in them. I grow Roma Tomatoes for making salsa, tomato paste, antipasto, spagetti/pizza sauce, ketchup, bruchetta, chili sauce, etc. I also like to grow a few Beefsteak tomatoes just for eating. They are tastier and juicier. Only a small percentage of all these tomatoes will finish on the vine. When the weather gets too cold in the fall, I will bring them in green and let them finish ripening indoors. They still taste 10 times better than what you buy on the store shelf. i don’t know why. More love and care? There must be more to it. I had a good sized greenhouse for a while, but I find this method is a lot less work. I usually care for 50 plants.

              The corn has bonemeal and are planted with the tallest at one end of the row and the smaller, later one at the other. This graduation of sizes means that when a plant is ready to pollinate, that it’s neighbours that are of the same maturity will pollinate with them. a corn plant doesn’t do well all by itself. They are planted about a foot apart/1/3 of a metre in any direction. 100 corn plants are enough to make us happy along with anyone that drops in at the right time of year. Friends we know time their visits. They know when the strawberries are on, or the raspberries, or the peas…   

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25 Responses to “New Lettuce, Asparagus, Transplants in…phew!”

  1. Wendy says:

    Sherry Berry, I love your lifestyle.

    A comment, I do the same for tomatoes. Eggshells do work, though they take a long time to break down in the soil, but if you plant again and again, it makes sense to use them just the same. This year, I used aged sheep manure in my tomato bed. I hope that does well. I covered them this last night even though it only dropped to a chilly 5 degrees. Thats 40 for you Texans.
    My garden soil is tough and I was told that it is due to using town water which has an abundance of calcium in it. I don’t have the money for new soil, but it is tempting to rearrange priorities, ha ha! I threw in some aged sheep manure to appease the ‘gardener’ in me. If I had it the way I wanted I think I would go with raised beds and a few are being used here, so it is a matter of time to see how they produce, hold moisture etc. Thistle and Quack and Hard Soil are obstacles that make raised bed gardening a much better choice, apparently. Do you have raised beds in your program?

    • sherry says:

      They would be a lot of extra work. They warm up sooner in the spring, but with frosts being so much concern, I don’t see the advantage. They cost more, the soil can end up the same unless, say, you have a salinity problem – then it would help. The only thing I would even consider using one for is for carrots. I grow the shorter Nantes (thicker carrots store better) so I don’t have to worry about their length. It can be nice for weeding, but I’d rather sit on the ground at this point. It’s hard to till them, and to add more compost.
      I think you should read the blog on the Red Wriggler Worms. They apparently don’t deplete the fibre as much as earthworms. I think you need more fibre. Well thrashed, clean straw or grass clippings. I put on a couple of inches of rotted manure every year. Does any of this help? I have other ideas too like sawdust, but no pine.

    • sherry says:

      If you have so much calcium, why do you need egg shells?

    • sherry says:

      Thistles could be overcome, but that quack grass can get through cement and can grow 4 foot tall ( a meter and a 1/4).

    • sherry says:

      Sherry Berry…that’s cute!

  2. Wendy says:

    Oh, I wanted to add that I have made a tea leaf to water my vegetable garden. It smells so disgusting. Arg. I let it seep to a consistency and color of tea, but I was told I could let it get as murky as molasses and thin it before application. I am doing this in an attempt to rejevenate my over used garden space; as a quick fix for nutrient loss, evident in poor quality produce last year. At the shop, where I have a few rows of peas, (last year it was NOT worth the effort) there is plenty of nutrients, as far as the eye can tell. However, thistle is the order of the day. Is there any hope against thistle? I am told this – that Round Up stays in the soil and others say it does not. I lean toward believing what goes in is in there and breaks down and is taken up by the plants you wish to eat and will not be exclusive to the weed that was sprayed. What is your knowledge on the subject?

    • sherry says:

      The folks who sold us Round up in large ‘farmer’ quantities told me specifically this: It’s as safe to drink as kool-aid, but they didn’t advise using it as a drink. They also stated that it had no carry-over affects.
      A few years later after I used it with much skepticism, they started telling the farmers that it COULD possibly have a residual effect on the next crop.
      In my opinion we are the guinea pigs. Things are not tested as much as we hope.
      They pushed pesticide…told us it was a necessary evil. On one account I proved them dead wrong. Some of my neighbors were hurt that they’d been ‘duped’. I don’t trust the big chemical companies.

    • sherry says:

      Oh…this I know for a fact. If you cut them off at exactly the right time of the month and year, you can kill them. Hubby saw proof positive of this when another old timer proved it to him. He regrets that he doesn’t remember how to figure out that timing. I’ve tried at the height of a full moon in late fall when the buds were on but with no success.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Dad trying peeing on them. That didn’t work either apparently. I have knifed them, jabbed, stabbed and hacked them and only to be torchered back, repeatedly and they won out. Now I look at them and seriously, I’m at a loss. But thanks, and pray that some old timer speaks from the dust with the news on how to kill them.

    Oh, how do you kill poplar trees and their nasty offspring, the saplings? I’m told: salt and water paste is placed into a hole drilled into the tree.

    • sherry says:

      Poplar trees can easily be killed by peeling strips off the bark – basically injuring them. That’s if you have patience to wait. The hole and paste would injure them too.

  4. Well the difference in flavor Sherry, is all in the soil. And you’ve got to love Mother Earth. So you’re right. In fact most of the trouble in this world is that there is not enough love. And now, we can even TASTE the lack of it.
    By the way I am timing my visit according to your harvest also ah haha.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Re: me and my calcium. I cannot prove there is too much calcium in the soil unless I do a soil test. But that is what is rumored as to why my soil is so hard. I have amended it to some degree but cost is a factor. Maybe it is not ‘true’ calcium but some calcium chemical combo etc that is the factor in the hardened soil and perhaps its not usuable for the plants. No idea really. I haven’t used a lot of egg shells except in the bottoms of tomato holes. Oh, I have to add that tomatoes love being watered with skim milk. I suppose that is a calcium source. I have used the epsom salts…do you know if it changes the alkalinity of the soil?

  6. Wendy says:

    Re: thistle. If pee doesn’t work (my goodness the things people think of lol) and hacking them with great energy (plant murder) and round up (chemical warfare) is dangerous, what can be used? I heard vinegar is a great organic kill. Distill it down until you have a 15% concentration, or freeze evaporate to a 30% concentration. Spray on the weeds. I do not know if it is better to cut the thistle flush then inject into the plant via dropper or to spray onto a young plant at the 3 or 4 leaf stage. Does someone have an experimental spot?

    • sherry says:

      Yah sadly I do have some. They bloom when they know I’m too busy. I’ve heard you can cover them with something heavy and they will rot out…and come up beside the cover..in your neighbors yard perhaps. They take in poison with their leaves. A dead ended stalk won’t help you much.

  7. Wendy says:

    Re: calcium in soil. I do not know if it is fact that the calcium is what is hardening my soil. I do not know if calcium is in there either as it was only a suggestion I was given. I could soil test. I couldn’t say if it is a calcium chemical combination that perhaps a plant cannot use in it’s own uptake. But I do know that tomatoes will use the calcium in egg shells once the egg shells have decomposed fully.

  8. Wendy says:

    More fibre for the garden? That sounds great. I will need to remove soil first to accomodate any addition, as the slope of the garden creates run off into the wall of the garage. I’ve been told weeping tile would help. Has anyone used this?

    • sherry says:

      I would dig a trench for the water runoff. Line it with ‘plastic whatever’ and put some small rocks on top painted blue – like a creek.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Round up is not nearly as safe as they say. DUH. Weeks after you round up an area (which is said to be safe in a few days) you can plant tomatoes and they will die. Also, I read an article on scientists being able to measure amounts of Round up in spring run off. That would mean that the round up used the year before is still in the ground the next spring.
    All together, lets roll our eyes and say “DUH”.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Wendy, it might be a good idea to try one raised bed. That way, the cost is not too prohibitive. I find it good for carrots, and any crop that you want to plant in April. It’s well worth getting the early start on veggies that aren’t frost sensitive. I get my ‘garden soil’ from a landscaping depot that sells in bulk. Sometimes they sell a pretty decent mix. The good thing about raised beds if you put in the right soil, rototilling is not a problem. It’s soft, easy soil to work with. I would put landscaping fabric under it if quake grass is a problem. If you have no money, use loads of cardboard (found at the recycle station) to line the bottom. This will double as soil, later and keep the volume of soil to be bought to a minimum.
    Freecycle might have people wanting to get rid of bricks, lumber, etc that you could use for your raised bed. (Whitecourt Freecycle).
    As for the rest of your garden…. I would put down cardboard, grass clippings and even wood chips in between the rows to keep weeds down. If you use wood chips, remember that the chips will bind up nitrogen as they decompose. You will need to compensate with high nitrogen compose (manure, grass clippings). You could use fresher manure that isn’t stinky, but will burn plants between rows to help keep down weeds. Your best bet, though is to put down landscaping fabric on top of all this. The weeds will not be able to come up through this and you will get some good composting action under your feet.
    I save my egg shells and grind them in my blender before putting it on the garden. Egg shells under your pathway would be wonderful, as well.
    Peavy Mart has the best price on landscaping fabric, as far as I know.
    As for tomatoes, they love acid soil. If you can get a large cube of peat moss from Peavy Mart, you can put a shovel full in the hole you are planting your tomatoes in. Peat moss is acidic. Some spruce needle tea might bring up the acidity, as well, but I’ve never tried it. This year, I planted 5 tomato plants near a spruce tree. We will see how that goes.
    I’ve never tried epsom salts before.

    • sherry says:

      Congrats. This is the longest comment I’ve had yet.Make sure wood chips aren’t pine. Please report back on the spruce tree things. That would solve a lot of acidic needs of my garden. Nobody seems to know where I can get some acidic fertilizer for my new blueberries and cranberries. The nursery that sold them wasn’t any help either. Any one know?
      Next time I will put some peat moss under tomatoes. I should have known that. Thanks.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is what I did for my blueberries:
    When I planted them, I dug a large hole. I mixed peat, compost, spruce bark and sand and fill the hole. I planted a blueberry plant in the middle of each of these holes. I will mulch with spruce needles, mulch.
    I just did this, so I don’t have results yet. They plants seem to be doing well, though. I have read a few things on the internet (so it MUST be true) that using evergreen needles as a mulch is great for blueberries.

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