Sunday, February 20, 2011

Garden Planning and My Seeds

The bulk of my seed order arrived in the mail.
Here's what I have from Bakers Creek:
Garden Pea (Lincoln)
Tomato (Ananas Noire)
Lettuce (May Queen)
Leek (Bulgarian Giant)
Carrot (Danvers 126 Half Long)
European Mesclun Salad Mix
Snow Pea (Golden Sweet)
Tomato (Amish Paste)
Tomato (Black Cherry)
Cucumber (Delikatesse)
Pepper (Emerald Giant)
Black Bean (Cherokee Trail of Tears)
Watermelon (Royal Golden)
Watermelon (Cream of Saskatchewan)
Seeds I ordered on ebay:
Basil (Italian Large Leaf)
Winter Squash (Buttercup)
Endive (Green Curled Ruffled)
I also have seeds saved from last year:
Michihli Cabbage (A type of Napa Cabbage)
Extra Dwarf Pak Choy (Bok Choy)
Kale (Blue Curled Scotch)
Daikon Radish (Chines White Winter)

I also have some squash seeds saved from a wonderful winter squash a neighbor grew and gave us...yummy to the extreme. I have no idea what the name of the squash is, I just know it is round, kinda squat, and is blue and grayish in coloring.

Because I am gardening in a desert region, my garden planning has to be pretty specific in terms of water, shade, etc.
I found out last year that the soil here is not very good for seed germination/growth/gardening.
So, I spent a good part of the last week calling around to find out how much places here charge for decent topsoil. Some were not too bad, others made my hair stand on end! And you don't even want to know what the delivery charges were like! Fortunately, a neighbor lets us borrow his pick-up for our *farm jobs* (and I am glad, because while transporting the goats in my Darlin' Mans classic Mercedes would have been funny, it wouldn't have done much for the upholstery!).
The wind here is dry. VERY dry. It sucks all the moisture out of the soil so fast it is surprising to me! So, wind breaks will be in order, as well as mulch to hold in moisture.
We will be doing raised bed gardening, it is the only thing that will work here.
But I will HAVE to have some type of *bottom* in my raised beds, as the under-soil will suck down every drop of water as fast as it can. I am thinking of using tarps under the beds, up behind the beds (they are beside a chain link fence), and then, I can also use the same tarps on frames to provide shade...bottom, wind-break and shade in one!
Also, I need to line the bottom with some sort of material that will *hold* moisture for the plants when their roots grow. I am thinking peat moss, combined with the compost/straw mix from the goat pens.
I will be growing some of the plants in containers...I have oodles of containers! Whoever lived here before us had loads of them, our neighbors that have moved gave us many, so I have 30 to 40 large (5 gallon size and up) containers! Many of them perfect for herbs, salad greens and such.
So, tonight I sketched out a basic garden plan that I will hone and tweak as my seeds sprout (I will be starting my seeds tomorrow).
Patches the goat has not given birth yet. I am beginning to think that perhaps (despite what the vet says) that she is merely a rotund, overweight goat, and not pregnant at all!
Gabrielle the goat is weaning Geordi, but is giving us about a quart and a half of sweet, creamy milk a day!
The hens are laying eggs like they do it for a living! Five to nine eggs a day now!(That's collectively, not individually!)
Red the rooster is his normal psychotic self. :-D He seems to be a bit happier since I ordered the waterer from Livestock Concepts on ebay a couple weeks ago.
Here's the one I got:
Chicken Water Fountain
They had a free shipping deal, plus the price was cheaper than I could buy it locally, so I figured I'd go for it.
It is working out real well, and now I don't have to tote water to the coop 3 times a day...less encounters with Red equals less stress on me (and the broom!). No, I don't get anything from the folks at Livestock Concepts (well, except for the catalog they sent with my order), just wanted anyone out there with chickens to know about a Good Thing.
The tabletop project is...progressing. Tiles and grout done...HOWEVER, the OMB the fella and I got is apparently not quite up to the task as it seems to be warping a bit. I need to reinforce the base somehow and am going to work on it tomorrow to see if I can come up with a solution.

Hoping everyone out there will go to sleep dreaming of carrots and lettuce, peppers and tomatoes, beans and squash...just like I will! May all our gardens be bountiful this year!


  1. Sounds like a tasty garden, Gwyn! I think I'm going to be trying out a mini hoop house this year to give our early stuff (and later, the late stuff) some protection. I built a chicken tractor that is awfully heavy to move,and it's hoopish anyway, so we'd just need to cover it with heavy plastic. It even has a door on it!

    Our season here starts late compared to many people, so I'm re-posting some posts at my glob about making paper pots for seedlings, making a compost bin, etc. I will start on paper pots very soon!

    Wishing everyone a wonderful season,
    -Laura at TenThingsFarm

  2. People here don't have hoop houses...unless they have the money to replace the plastic and indeed the entire hoop system after one of our sandstorms! The wind and the sand here are just awful when they combine! So, I am fighting against the wind and sand, too. I am determined that I will have a good garden, though. I am checking with local master gardeners and neighbors that have gardens to see what the local strategies are.
    I like the newspaper pots, but I am making self-watering seedling pots, looks like a good idea. (Got the idea here: )


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