Monday, February 27, 2012

February 27, 2012

Spring hyacinths
Spring is really coming - there have been hints, and they are more convincing each week, if you couldn't tell from seedlings in greenhouses and "false" Spring weather.  Though it hasn't snowed here all winter, March is known for some nasty surprises; this gardener wouldn't mind an early Spring, another chance to win the race to grow the first sun-ripened tomato!

Broccoli seeds sown indoors on Friday evening germinated in just 36 hours; they are now growing under fluorescent lights with bell pepper seedlings; outdoors, spinach seed is sprouting.

Compost is dull business, really.  The compost bin has been in operation now for a little over a year, and we are seeing some nicely-finished product using the slow method; our compost bin is really just a trash receptacle for all garden waste, weeds excepted.  It is too unwieldy to turn.  So it sits, sun and rain, with new organic matter added to the top.  The compost we are harvesting is enough just for a few individual plants in their planting holes, though in time we hope it will be able to amend garden soil on a large scale.

A handful of rich compost.
Autumn leaves and cardboard are mass-composting over the site where our future vegetable garden will be; wet cardboard is very attractive to earth worms:  we call it worm compost.  We don't till it under until it is fully composted.  It takes about a year, and while it lasts on top it does a great job keeping weeds down.

We're mulching all our trees and herb borders this week with contractor's mulch before gardening season gets really busy.  Every tree has been fertilized and will be ready to pop into growth when Spring arrives for real.
Our compost bin

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Dedicated to the responsible production and preservation of healthy home-grown food to the glory of God. Isaiah 55:10 The rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. Organic, or not? We try to raise vegetables organically, using compost and manure. The addition of chickens to our hobby farm means plenty of organic nitrogen to compost! This site gives credible reference to planting information contained in the Farmer's Almanac (