Friday, April 8, 2011

The garden is now expanded

A couple days ago, in between showers, I was able to get the fencing up to extend the veggie garden all the way to the back fence. Today I went out and leveled half of it and planted my last potatoes, the red skins. For the record, they were sprouted to pretty much ideal, nice thick sprouts a quarter of an inch long, after almost 3 weeks. I'm hardening off the kohlrabis so I can put them out later tomorrow. Showers will start again tomorrow night so they should be okay. I think I have some seeds I can plant soon too. The whole garden now is 17' x 15', 255 sq. ft.. I brought over the wettest of the hay bales and broke it apart, and it was not good. The water had penetrated between every flake and there was very little that was actually dry. The dry stuff I fluffed over the new half row of potatoes, the wet stuff I pulled off in small clumps and laid out where I won't be planting for another month. The wet hay had not turned to mush, but it was really hard to pull it apart. There was nothing nice about it.

I find it very interesting that the fluffed-up hay I put out before—on the left side—looks wonderfully dry and clean, even though it's had several inches of rain fall on it. No mold there. Must be all the air circulation. Some of the other bales in the pile don't look too great.

The light areas on the two bales in front are mold. The dark areas are where the hay is wet. The side of the bale on top is dark because it, too, is wet. The bales in the other end of the pile look dryer. But even the very wet bale I broke open today is usable as mulch for between rows. As long as the remaining bales don't start composting, it should be okay.

So, lesson learned—no more leaving hay out in the rain.

And some really good news--my lettuce seeds are sprouting! After 13 days of rain, hail and freezing nights, there are about a hundred lettuce babies in my patio tub. I didn't intend to have that many, but the bottom of one of the seed packages broke completely open as I was trying to shake a few out the top. I scooped up as many as I could see, but I'm going to have lots of transplants.

The only other thing I've done is started some chamomile and yarrow seeds inside, for my companion plantings. Tomorrow should be another good day for gardening!

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