Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Country Garden Showcase #44

Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace. 
May Sarton
I hope you are making good progress in your garden and garden planning this month.  January can be a difficult month for gardeners.  The weather is often uncooperative.  Mother Nature can leave fields covered in ice and send a wet storm into pasture turning everything into mush.  You can't work in that.
At those times, I try to get ahead on my planning.  I work hard to be pesticide free- even organic approved pesticides, my goal is to avoid them all if I can.   Most years I can get by without much help other than an olive oil/milk/pepper/dish soap mix for powdery mildew or aphids if I carefully rotate, companion, and decoy plant.  I try to add a few new plants to my garden each year too.  To make sure everything works well together, I draw the designs out on graph paper before I plant.   I also keep master diagrams for the entire yard inside a binder in plastic page protectors for perennials ie: fruit trees, berries and grapes so I can reflect back on them when I forget what variety a particular plant is.  These lists have saved me a few times and are worth the investment of time.  I also keep a journal.  In it, I record important garden progress and milsetones each season ie: seed starting dates, greenhouse temperatures, plant hardening off/planting dates, water infiltration rates, fertilizer dates/type, etc. 
My collection of gardening books are still packed so I headed to our local library to borrow a few books to refresh my memory with...  I am always impressed by the free public library.
This is where I get to tell on myself.. just how hard did I work toward my goals this week???

Well, I made some progress toward my goals, though I fell a little short.  Here's what I got accomplished-

I started a chicken coop waste compost pile
I ordered a kitchen compost container to help me collect kitchen scraps to compost 
I placed a few of my seed catalog orders and an order for berry vines
We settled on a new site for my garden **(we have many tall trees and lots of shade so it was tough to find a spot that would get enough hours of direct sunlight)  
I began tilling small opportunistic flower/veggie beds around the front yard
I began planting annuals
My hubby made me a few nice raised garden bed boxes to fill up
I started cutting out wire root cages (for gopher protection) from 1/2" poultry netting for my new fruit tree orchard.  I am making them bigger than commercial cages.  I learned long ago that the store bought cages quickly stifle healthy roots and strangle them if they're not atleast 3x the width of the rootball at planting.

Here's my list for the next seven days...

Weekly Garden Chores
Level, fill, and plant the new raised garden beds
finish planting fruit trees within homemade cages
order herbs and honeybee garden seeds
make compost container
prep site for berry vines that should arrive in a few weeks
purchase seed starting essentials ie: perlite, vermiculite, sand, mini greenhouse trays/lids
get some onion, garlic, potatoes started

I am finally feeling some urgency to complete my garden chores now that I know I will have something to garden this year afterall.  We weren't planning to do much since there's quite a lot of work that needs to be done inside the house yet, but I finally conceded that I just can't feel complete without working some soil. I am so glad that I came clean about it, before I missed the season and became a bear to live with.

Please feel free to link up your posts and share your progress this week.

Thank you!


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