...if you have a backyard and a kitchen, this blog might be for you!

a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Friday, March 11, 2011

And So It Begins...

Remember that soil analysis we recently ordered? It came back reading much as I thought it would: our soil is far to alkaline and could use a good bit of nitrogen and organic matter. A few fertilizer suggestions were included with the report, peat being a leading one. I'll probably work it into the soil a little later in the spring. Nevertheless, I think it will be a year to rest from the heavy-feeding plants--like the squash and tomatoes and cucumbers. I'll visit the farmers' markets for these and focus on growing more nitrogen-fixing ones, like legumes, and the light feeders, like leafy veggies along a few of the root crops. That determined, some of these "acceptable" plants are early spring ones, making today--this cool and sunny and breezy day--a perfect day to set seed. Garden Helper and I shopped for a few more packets of seeds, opting for organic and heirloom whenever we could. With our new seeds and a couple of bags of good starter peat, we put a row of sugar snap peas into the ground right at the edge of the garden. Next week, we'll plant another row, and a week later another row until late April or early May. For now, peas were all we planted in the garden proper.
But in a few of the outdoor planters (ones that could be moved indoors should a hard frost hit in the next few weeks) we likewise started spinach and radishes, layering fresh potting soil atop a base of last year's soil.

And, we started lettuce seeds to transplant later into the garden when they are established seedlings. The first year I tried establishing my own seedlings, I bought a very pricey "kit" that had a damp mat that filled the bottom of the tray where perfect little cubicles housed seed started pellets. Last year, I used this old-fashioned technique: a bio-degradable egg carton with egg shells as "pots" for the seedlings. If I keep it watered gently and set it on top of the refrigerator for warmth, it works just as well, and only costs me the price of the seeds and soil. Recycling in true historic farm fashion!

Garden Helper's veggie of choice to grow this year is carrots, but it is still a little early to start them outdoors. We tucked his new pack of seeds away in the seed box, and he settled for starting a little planter of lettuce--offering me Spring's first decor on the kitchen windowsill.
Today's sign-off is one I've been anxious to say for days:
Happy planting!

1 comment:

  1. You are so good to test your soil and heed the results. I confess, I never do. I heard robins singing this morning!!! YEEAAAAAA!!!!!

    Cindy Bee