Foodbuzz

22.3.11

Right in My Own Backyard - Spring Forward or Fall Back?

Holy Hannah, two posts in and I'm already procrastinating.  I've got some video that I shot yesterday along with some new pics.  Every time I get the camera out, I say to myself that I'm going to get the blog post done while it's all fresh.  The thing is, the darn videos take soooo long to upload to Youtube.   It’s thinking about that that really puts me off working on the blog.  But, I’ve come across a new software that supposedly cuts the time down to minutes what had previously taken a couple of hours or more; and I’m talking for a 4 minute video imagine the ones that are close to 10.
 
The weather was looking a little dicey and if I didn’t know better, I would think we were moving backward.  We had quite a nice little snowfall in the morning which had faded to rain by the afternoon.  Then, just about supper time, we had another snowfall.  It was a lot heavier than it was earlier in the morning, but that didn’t last very long before turning to rain again.  The yard is green again now, but I expect we’ll have at least another snowfall before March leaves us.
 
I have to say,  the speed at which everything is growing caught me by surprise.  I actually thought I was a little late starting them because the seed packets said to start them eight weeks before the last frost.  I’ve since learned that for my area, the last frost should be around May 6, so I was actually a couple of days early.  The only plants that are going the way I expected are the peppers.  I’ve never seen a pepper plant grow fast.  Last year my red peppers were only big enough to pick and still green at the end of the season.  And they were flowering plants when I put them in.
 
So, to replant my broccoli I just spooned a little potting soil into a peat pot and then literally scooped out each plant, soil and all and put it into the pot.  I only had five pots and plants in nine egg carton sections, so I had to make them share pot space.   I actually have several plants in each egg section, so I should end up with quite a few plants at the end of it all.   I Learned from the Square Foot Gardening Forum how to harden off my seedlings, so I guess I’ll be trying that in a few weeks.


Click to enlarge

Replanting Broccoli
1t potting soil
Replanting Broccoli_2
Lift seedling with
soil intact
Replanting Broccoli_3
Add to pot






Replanting Broccoli_13
Fill with potting soil
Replanting Broccoli_4
Add seedlings
from a 2nd section



Okay so it turns out I didn’t need the new video software after all.  I just needed to learn how to use the media browser properly for my video camera to convert my videos to the right format for uploading.  I uploaded my 6 minute video to Youtube in 9 minutes; not too shabby, eh?   Winking smile
 
<a href="http://www.linkedtube.com/zKD7e-4EkBs9e1d9bdc67e60b3faacad5be58051320.htm">LinkedTube</a>




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18.3.11

Right in My Own Backyard - Garden Status

Well, I'm getting ready for the new season.  Today my Honey went out and got some fencing so that we can keep the mutt out this year, - I think she ate more from the garden than we did - and on the 9th I started some seeds in egg cartons and painstakingly charted out my garden plan.  

What I've got going so far are 3 varieties of tomatoes, cantaloupe, green and red peppers and broccoli.  If I can avoid having to buy too many plants this year, I'll be happy.  They seem inexpensive enough on the surface, but by the time you get all the plants you need, you've shelled out a pretty penny.

I'm wondering though if I should've  planted the broccoli.  Last year it took so long to start, (and I ended up with no broccoli at all) I thought maybe it'd be best to start them inside, but as you'll see in the pictures, it's really going like gangbusters, and I'm a little nervous it'll get too big for the egg carton before I can plant them outside.   When we came back from getting the fencing, we found that the ground is still pretty frozen about 10cm down; plus the yard is like a swamp, so it'll be a while before we can start setting anything up.

Now, I still have my reservations about the kind of earth I have in the garden.  That may have been my broccoli's problem last year; it's so heavy and tightly packed that I think some things have a harder time than others growing in that type of soil.  What I have in the egg cartons is potting soil which is so much lighter.  I can't afford to swap it out, but I'm hoping to be able to get enough of the black earth to mix into it so that it changes the composition some.   The carrots were packed in there so tightly that I pulled the tops right off trying to get them out.  I ended up using my little weeding tool to dig them up.  And then, I found they were a lot shorter than what they were supposed to be.  Again I guess it was just too hard for them to go deep.  The beans didn't do too badly, but still, I think they could do better with lighter soil.


I'm going to give the square foot thing another go this year.  I have the squares marked off in the chart but I don't know that I'll actually string it off like I did last year.  I also marked how many plants per square, but that may end up being less because of the density of the ground; we'll see.


I'm doing the hanging buckets again too, but what I'll do differently this time is put potting soil instead of garden soil in the buckets.  Last year they were so heavy that a few of the handles actually broke under the weight, and you saw what it did to my hanger at the south end.  I might or might not use my long planters.  I'm going to make a hanging planter of herbs so that when the season is over, I'll be able to just hang it up inside and still be able to use the herbs over the winter.
Seedlings March 15
Seedlings March 17
Seedlings March 18