Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Garden Update

The first step to getting my garden up is to get it ready for planting. The fence is already up, as I before mentioned, but there are some other things I need to do before I can plant in May. The first thing is the ginormous bush smack in the middle. I could leave it there, but there's at least 45 square feet of garden space that it covers...plus most of the bush is dead. So the bush will be my first project. Digging it up and removing it, along with some of the smaller weeds.

Next, I need to improve the soil. It would have been best to start this last fall so that it would have time to break down and whatever. I could list a couple of pages of excuses, including it not occurring to me, but there's really no point. I didn't do it, and so I need to do it now. Our dirt is almost totally clay. Hard as a rock if you get it wet and step on it a lot. Then nothing grows on it and you have a footpath. So, from what I've read about good soil being equal parts sand, silt, and clay, I'm going to need to bring in extra soil. Luckily, the nearest town has a large creek that runs through it with lots of white sand which no one cares if you take some.

Another thing about our soil is it's red color. Not red as in "iron-rich," red as in "virgin soil." No real anything to feed plants. Luckily my garden spot was where our last batch of chickens lived, so there's chicken manure that's been there since last summer. This is good, because chicken manure is high in Nitrogen which would burn most plants if I put fresh straight on. Also, the nearest town has a dairy and they sell their (semi-fresh) manure from their cows for $20 a tractor scoop. My mother is trying to find someone with a truck who will help her get three scoops for her garden. When I get money next, I'll give her some of it and then get her to go get some for her garden and mine. If I remind her often enough, she might actually do it.

I'll probably try my hand at a compost pile next. It might take some time to get my family to put their plant wastes in a bucket to go out to compost, but it's a good idea, and, anyways, I want to try it.

That's my plan for this next bit. There's still plenty to do after all of the above is completed, but if I try everything all at once, I'll overwhelm myself and then I won't do any of it. :)

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