Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Getting Ready Or Not

I am getting ready to start my new kitchen garden for this year. Or am I?
In this region, you must take your chance to go out, when it comes. The chance is, when the rain stops.

Last week I got out, it was a nice, rare sunny Oregon winter day. I was able to fill up some of my garden beds with some home made compost and some mint compost from Lane Forest Product, which is one of our local yard waste and wood recyclers. They sell all kinds of garden dirt and compost. Mint compost I have been told is a great supplement for tired and hard soil. I never heard of Mint compost before I moved here. Oregon used to have a lot of Mint farms, for Mint oil production, it leaves over a lot of waste material. Anyway I tried it last year and it seemed to do a good job. My dirt is looking better already. I am not making enough compost to fill these new garden beds so I am glad there are many places in town to get compost.

I just started last year converting some of my beds into raised Beds. Before, I just heaped the soil up into rectangular beds. There nothing was holding up the soil, eventually it all slipped into the walk ways, the neighbors cats, didn't help the matter either. They like to dig in my garden beds to do their business in it. I don't like the cats.
I didn't like how the weeds kept blowing into the beds from the walk way, it was hard to keep up with weeding. So I found these garden beds made in England at Gardener Supply Co, they are made of recycled plastic, you stick them together and they are affordable. They work and so far I am happy with them. Last year I did not have enough dirt to fill them. So I had to finish filling them up this year.
I also got a few more of the slim ones, for my Raspberries. I didn't like how the Raspberries constantly spread all over in the corner of the vegetable garden. They are shallow rooted and the boxes are 10" high. I put one of these fabrics for putting under mulch on the bottom, wrapping it in the inside of the box, then filled it up with my dirt mix and replanted them. I hope it works.
I like to garden, but I don't like unnecessary work. Anything I can do to reduce unnecessary work is good.

This week I was planning to put some of my seeds in the ground and in pots. But first I wanted to put all my seed information, when to plant what, according to the last Frost Date for our region into my
Garden Database software I have on my computer. Let me tell you, there is a lot of conflicting information about when the last and first frost is supposed to be. How is a Transplanted Gardener to know when to start what? Some claim the first frost to be May 21. others April 24., which is almost a month apart. I have been in this area only for 6 years, I have not yet seen any frost past April, so I chose the April date.
The week is not over yet, but so far I have not been able to get one seed into a pot. Instead I spent too much time, finding and sorting information on my computer and ordering new seeds.
Never mind I got some nice seeds, they were all open pollinated mostly Heirlooms. Open pollinated seeds fit more into my picture of trying to be a Self sustainable gardener. Luckily for me there are more and more companies selling Open-pollinated and Heirloom Vegetable Seeds. There are so many online companies, it took me a long time to make up my orders. I have more seeds of varieties then I need or could grow in one season. I am all for variety, trying new things.
To me gardening is all about the adventure, doing things differently, experiencing new things and constantly learning something new. And having fun doing it.
If I just could get organized and get them started.


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