Monday, May 21, 2012

Gardening Progress

It's been a while since I posted a garden update, and although a great deal has been accomplished at Dogs Run Farm, no one single thing has been remarkable. We have mostly been working on infrastructure, getting the garden started, clearing trees, and pondering how to clear our big meadow of the roses and other brush so that we can use it for livestock. A bulldozer seems to be a realistic option.

The first weekend in April, we planted rhubarb, horseradish, and more raspberries and blueberries in the garden. Most of the red clover had survived over the winter and was growing steadily. This is a great ground cover that prevents erosion and fertilizes the soil, since clover fixes atmospheric nitrogen. We seeded the clover too late last fall for it to grow much before winter, so this year it will go into the ground even before we have harvested all the crops.

At home, the tomatoes and peppers were doing well, and had been repotted at least twice. Thirteen tomato plants were eventually set in large pots outside on May 6, and two were planted in the West Virginia garden and staked. Several plants have small tomatoes already. The beet plants didn't seem to be doing much in the seed starting tray, so they were transplanted into the West Virginia garden on April 28 and seem fine. The potatoes were put into the ground over that same weekend. We planted two varieties of fingerling potatoes, Laratte, a French potato, and Peanut, along with German Butterball, Nicola, a mid-season golden potato, Red Gold, an early red-skinned potato, and Red Pontiac potatoes. They were just starting to emerge over the May 12 weekend.

That same weekend, the green beans, lima beans (known as butter beans in the South), sweet peas, bell, cayenne, and Padron peppers, and more beets were planted. A hard rain fell the evening after planting that had some erosive effects, but nothing major. More logs were laid in an attempt to reduce water flows. In early April, artichoke and Brussels sprout seeds were started, and these have been repotted and will go in the ground May 26, along with a few cauliflower plants.

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