Sunday, February 21, 2010

A good gardening weekend

A couple of wonderfully sunny warm winter days were perfect for gardening.

I tidied up a forlorn bunch of winter pots and flats (removing frost-nipped plant remnants) and turned over blocks in the main vegetable garden (primarily to help decrease root-knot nematode numbers).

I sowed some arugula (a mustard relative that apparently produces compounds that inhibit nematodes) in one of the blocks. It won't germinate for awhile, since the soil is still very cold (~38°F). My plan is to harvest the arugula as the weather gets warmer (and the arugula spicier!) and replace it with French marigolds, which have a similar depressive effect on root-knot nematode numbers.

So basically the main vegetable garden will be fallow (vegetable-wise) over the summer and can be brought back into production next season. In its place, I'll be growing tomatoes, peppers, beans, and squash in new raised beds (yet to be constructed).

Flats of mesclun, rougette de Montpellier lettuce (a red butterhead variety from Burpee), and spinach were freshly sown, along with another round of seeds for transplants.

In the satellite garden, which is in full sun in winter, the soil is much warmer, approaching 50°F, so it's perfect for putting in a round of sugar snap peas and garden peas.

The beds, which I had covered in compost and turned in the fall, are in good condition, so they were also perfect for planting the onions and leeks that came last week. I dusted the surface of the soil with some corn gluten that I had (after reading a hint about this for onion planting), to depress germination of additional winter annuals, and mulched the beds with old straw. Corn gluten is a mild fertilizer, too.

So, all of the beds in the satellite garden are occupied: five beds of garlic, three beds of onions, 1 bed of leeks, 1/2 bed of scallions, and 4 tomato cage trellises of peas. My beds vary in size, but they're roughly 2 1/2 to 3 ft X 4-6 ft long).

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