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Old 02-02-2013, 05:28 PM   #1
Yellow Jacket
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Spring garden

Well, it's about time to get the spring garden going again. We're still feeding off of the winter garden, but the long lead time stuff like watermellon, pumpkin, acorn and butternut squash, cantaloupe, etg. are getting started in peat starters tomorow. In addition, we had a relatively weak tomato harvest this winter, so I am doing a bunch of old school Roma's from seeds given to me by a good friend as well as extra ginormous sunflowers. We're trying intense interplanting of companion plants and insect repellant plants this year as a result of the amount of work we had to put in to keep from having to use Sevin dust and the like. We have a concoction of home grown pepper concentrate [capsaicin and soap essentially] that works to deter a lot of things, but nothing really beats having chickens in the garden schwacking caterpillars and slugs.

This has been the mildest winter in my recent memory, if not the very mildest ever, so we're going in the dirt early. We have a terra fabric to hold off the weeds and simply cut an "X": in the fabric and drop in our starts, which are still in their half rotted peat pots. This year I have over eight hundred starts set to go in the ground, staggerred by three to four weeks per batch of 200 - 300 each planting. We'll rotate in like that until May, and then we take a break until the winter patch goes in around October. This winter was a great production for us with huge returns on broccoli, cauliflower, squash [3 types] and sweet potatoes. In fact, we still have four or five hundred pounds of 'taters still in the ground yet, so we'll just let some of them "go feral" and re-grow in to a harvested area. We'll dig up whatever we think we can eat in the next three months and let the rest keep spreading out. I have enough starts that I'm giving some to Jesse, Scott and Sam[antha] who is dying to put in a garden but resents her landlord so much she absolutely refuses to improve her place one iota.

Folks, I have to tell you that there is nothing more satisfying than eating a gourmet, organic meal that you grew entirely yourself. I have about ten pounds of frozen largemouth bass we'll cook up with sweet potatoes, french cut green beans, snow peas and a nice garden salad with greens that were cut a half an hour before. We buy fresh grass fed beef from a guy down in Vero Beach and we have some laying hens that no longer lay, so now they will become lunch hens. Sometimes we have egg salad on a bed of fresh greens with slices of beefsteak heirloom tomtoes and fresh mozzerella with balsamic viniagrette.

Time to bust some sod 'fellas! I'll post some pics when we plant out and strip out the winter overlay. This year we'll go the whole 6,000 square feet inside the fence and do mellons and 'taters outside the fence. Also, we are going to plant our cucumbers and climbing beans just along the fence on the outside and simply let them climb the fence surrounding the 6,000 s.f. of closed in garden.
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Last edited by ancona; 02-03-2013 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:49 AM   #2
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We've had some real nice weather lately as well. Only have about 2 feet of snow in my yard and the pile where the loader drops it in my front yard is now under 10 feet high!
Yay, spring!
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:24 AM   #3
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we are having an unusually warm winter here in Central Texas. The next week is forecast to be in the seventies. Don't think I'll plant yet though. We'll probably get whacked with a few more hard freezes. Ancona, we have had good luck with long beans, extremely prolific and don't mind the heat (probably gets a lot hotter here, though). This year we will be sticking to asian stuff cause it doesn't seem to mind the heat. At least it froze a few times to kill the bugs.
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