For the northern hemisphericentric, temperatocentric, in the group -


You been out digging? 


I have tomatoes in protected chambers (commercially called "wall-o-water) which really do seem to warm the soil and protect the plants, for a head start.  They are all seedlings I started at home.


We finished off, our first spinach. lettuce, mesclun, radishes, scallions.  The scallions are cheating - they are a multiplier onion that is planted in the fall, so there are plants even before the soil can be worked.  We've been using chives for potatoes.


This year we are trying the "potato-in-a-barrel" method.  We planted starts in a half-wine barrel, just filled to 6 inches.  Then as the plants grow, more compost is added, until it's filled to the rim.  This is supposed to result in unbeleivably productive plants.  We'll see if it's unbelievable.


Today I planted zukes and cucumbers in little pots.  I'll plant them outside when they get one set of true leaves.  We have a relatively small space, so the zukes are bush-type and the cucumbers will be grown vertically, which worked well before.


We are also growing peppers and eggplants in half wine barrels.  A neighbor left the barrels out to give away, so we got them cheap (free).  By growing raised and out of the garden bed, Im hoping they will be warmer, so produce earlier and better.  Our cool summers make for a challenge with tropicals such as peppers and eggplants.  A wooden box would work as well.  I think the wood sides keep the soil temperature more stable, compared to plastic.


So...  any tricks of the trade?  New varieties?  New  adventures in the dirt?

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My parents had access to a magnificent and very productive persimmon, in an abandoned garden adjacent to theirs, but the new proprietary just had it cut off. Shame, such a marvelous tree that was maybe a century old. I'd really like to plant one, although room is scarce.

I picked the first strawberries of the season this morning. Only two, but they were tasty.
It's snowing here, again. There are blossoms on the apple tree. I haven't planted anything out.

I weep.
Is the maple sap running yet? Syrup for pancakes, yum!
It ran in March. Everything is early this year because of some unbelievable warm weather we had back in April.
I wanted to do cube foot gardening this year. But I don't have the time and money for it after all. So I decided to focus on what I could do to improve our "yard" with minimum cash investment. I have a small flower bed at the front of my house which has become completely overgrown with weeds, flox, and shade-tolerant, flowering ground cover for which I cannot remember the name. So I created a new bed behind the garage and seperated some of the plants in front to put in the back. This wasn't too difficult since the new bed was in an area where I had improved the soil and planted annuals a few years ago but had not done anything with since. Luckily I had some bricks to use from a project last year that never got off the ground. I tend to plan a lot more than I have time for, unfortunately--something I'm working on. Next I'm going to make a mirror-image bed across the stoop. This will be more difficult since nothing has been done to that soil and it is hard-packed clay with plenty of rocks. It's going to mean a lot of back breaking digging and hoeing and mixing in peat moss, sand, topsoil and compost. It would be nice if I could just use raised beds but when I try to do that the racoons dig everything up. When I was planning on cube foot gardening I was going to make wire mesh cages for the beds to keep the coons out. That is fine for vegetables but not for a flower bed.

I planted strawberries in a hanging basket (foils the coons) and I'm going to plant some tomatoes in an upside-down planter too. Other than that my partner and I have been working on clearing trails in the woods that cover most of our yard.


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