Saturday, August 19, 2017

Gardening in Straw

About six weeks ago, I placed a layer of straw across my yard in a wavy line, edging an area where I had planted flowers.

I placed seed potatoes on it at about 6-10 inch intervals.  Then I covered them with another layer of straw.

About a third of them came up.  I have been adding more straw around them as the stalks get higher.

About a week ago, I placed a longer wavy layer of straw across the other side of my yard.  I planted alternating sections with veggies and flowers. 

Some of them are coming up now.  It is so much fun to see all the new growing things.

© 2017 Kathryn Hardage

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Accidental Squash

When my husband and I unloaded the first mushroom compost, I never expected what could grow from a couple of hidden squash seeds.

From early March, when the seeds first sprouted to mid-June, the squash has been taken over the garden area and beyond.

Since I am mostly preparing soil, I am OK with it.

I am reminded of the story I heard as a little girl called “The Quick Running Squash”.

A little boy sees his squash growing so fast that he jumps on it as the vine keeps growing and growing and then he rides it all over the country.  I think it ends with a farmer cutting the vine with an ax to rescue the boy.

I totally understand the inspiration for the story now!

The story is by Alicia Aspinwall and it begins on page 201 of Volume One of "My Book House", and you can see it with the illustrations as I heard it and then read it as a child with this link.

© 2017 Kathryn Hardage

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Winter Garden

In December, I wrote: It has gotten frosty for the past couple of days.

My winter kales and thyme are still growing in their raised bed.

Even the collards are crisp and tangy in their containers on the deck.

As this growing season ends, I am planning the straw bales in the spring, along with fruit trees.

I am designing space for vermiculture and composting.

It will be fun to implement another step as  I learn to frow a little more food to live a little more sustainably.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Growing Peace in My Garden

I have been reading about growing food in my own garden.

I have even tried it a few times with minimal results.

However, I am still encouraged.

The way I am going about it this year, is with more knowledge and better timing.

I have one raised bed, which my husband built for me last Fall.  

I grew two kinds of kale in it and some thyme.

I also planted garlic, which due to the extremes of warm and cold weather back and forth, has decided to sprout early.

I have started new raised beds with kitchen scraps and compost and soil from my containers from last year.

I am putting cardboard or old carpet under them, then adding the kitchen scraps and covering them with the compost and soil.

I also sprinkle red pepper flakes to discourage neighborhood pets and wildlife.

So far, so good.

My small collection of seeds which are sprouting will be transplanted into two containers by a north window of my kitchen until the last frost is past.  (We hope!  Wo can tell anymore?)

I will start more seeds.

I am looking forward to eating from my own garden this year.

It is an encouraging and peaceful feeling, that I will have food that close at hand.

I am also looking forward to sharing the abundance.

In order to have an orderly and peaceful and successful experience, I will plant herbs among the vegetables, and flowers, as well.

I will plant mints and aromatics in pots to discourage rodents.  The pots will help contain these plants which like to spread.

This will give me more peace, as I learn to protect my plants in ways that are beneficial to pollinators and which discourage pests.

So, this new gardener looks forward to the new season with great hope, once again.

© 2017 Kathryn Hardage