Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Planting Peas and Potatoes for Patty's Day!

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Here in Kentucky, instead of wearing green we can plant it! Green Peas that is. Local farmers also say planting potatoes is fair game on St. Patrick's Day. I don't know if I agree with either because in many years it stays really cold until mid-April. This year however I am going to take a chance along side my neighbors. Of course I can never garden exactly like regular folks so I'm planting the potatoes in the greenhouse beds.


I may have overdone it a bit in buying 50 pounds of Kennebec Seed Potatoes, so I won't put all of them in the greenhouse. Later when I am no longer worried about frost, we plan to put the rest in the row-garden portion of the yard.

That is unusual for us because we primarily garden in raised beds which is where I planted the peas. The ground was still pretty wet last night which illustrates another reason why I love gardening in raised beds.

Last night I cleared out the bed closest to the greenhouse with a rake to make room for some peas. If I wanted to plant them in the regular ground as in a traditional row garden, it would have been way to wet to plant. I planted four rows of peas, each row on either side of a chicken wire fence.


Later I will add more support poles to the chicken wire pea fences. It was very important for me to put the supports up before I planted the peas so I would know where exactly to place the rows.

Also, I usually have a problem planting tomatoes and things that need support because I plan to add the support later, but sometimes I don't get around to it. After doing this with half of my tomatoes last year, I vowed to ALWAYS put the support up prior to planting. So here is my quick pea supports.


The other fun thing about preparing this pea bed was watching the chickens watch me. You can see the coop in the background on the right in the previous picture. I treated the chickens to an occasional worm as I turned over the soil. They were delighted!

Taking worms over to them gave my back a break every now and then. I'm not yet in gardening shape so even prepping one 4x12 raised bed wore me out. That's another reason why I like raised beds - you can work only a few beds at a time and still be very productive.

Later this week in the outdoor garden I hope to plant beds with broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and spinach. I think my pea bed is a pretty good start. I just hope they germinate well. Maybe by planting them on St. Patrick's Day I'll get the luck of the Irish!

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Is Winter Really Over?

I actually got hot outside today while I was pruning the apple trees. It was 62 degrees and the snow is just about melted! Could winter be over? I don't think I can believe that since we have had record amounts of snow this year.

Here in Kentucky we didn't get near the snowfall that the east cost got, but we did get 27" in February and more that a foot of it all at once. It was hard to keep it off of the greenhouse.

Greenhouse in snow 1

My daughters favorite thing about having a greenhouse this winter was that when we were playing in the snow, we could go in there to warm up. It was also a great place to keep the sleds!

Greenhouse in snow 2

The only thing we could do in the garden was go sledding.

Sledding in garden 1

Sledding in garden 2

That picture was taken during one of our smaller snowfalls. Most of the time the garden beds have looked like this:

Garden in Snow

There was a lot more snow than we are used to. Even playing in it got us much more tired than usual.

Lots of Snow

It was our first winter as chicken owners. I learned that chickens do not like snow!

Chickens in snow 1

During the last snow, about eight inches blew into their pen and the girls refused to leave the coop. When they would jump down into the snow, they would squawk and flap around like they were being attacked! I actually had to shovel out the snow, put new wood chips down, and bait them out with lettuce from the greenhouse.

Chickens in snow 2

Chickens in snow 3

They still spent most of their time inside, but at least now they would come out to eat and drink. That's also about the time they start laying more eggs again. Now that it has been warmer, there are some days that every hen lays. Soon I will be able to let them back out in their grazing pen.

There will be a lot going on in the garden pretty soon too. I do have some early tomatoes and lettuce started and have much to share with you.

Most of the winter I have been writing pages for my new site (as opposed to this blog). Now I plan to turn my attention back to blogging, so stay tuned here.

In the meantime, check out one of my new pages. The ones I have done are Seed Starting, Beneficial Insects, Composting, Garden Bargains and Tomatoes! I hope to write more as well - Spring can be very busy and exciting.

So what do you think? Is Winter almost over?

GardenDesk   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital