Saturday, December 02, 2006

More quick pics from the garden

'Cucino' cukes, in bloom, planted October 14, so approximately six weeks from seed to bloom. These 'Cucino' seeds were EXPENSIVE, and only 3/4 of them sprouted. Then the frosts we had a few weeks ago took two of them down (they are apparently somewhat more susceptible than the other cucumbers I've planted, 'Salad Bush' and 'Lemon'). The fruit is forming; according to the description, it should be no larger than a cornichon.
My hybrid lasagna-square foot garden: using the Dryland No-Till method of preparing the bed, and the square-foot approach of intensive use of space. A very low-impact and low-cost way to start a garden that works well here in FLA during the cool, dry season. Every week, after I drop my daughter off at school, I spin through the neighborhood looking for bags of yard waste. A couple very thoughtful households even shred the leaves and grass clippings. I pour a bucket of water into the bag of yard waste, twist it closed, and leave it to sit for a week or two. Where I'm building the new section of the garden, I lay down a ten-sheet-deep layer of newspaper right on top of the grass (weeds and rye that I planted in October). I toss the decomposing mulch thickly over the new section of my bed. On top of that all, I lay down a cover of pine-straw for aesthetic reasons. To plant either seeds or seedlings, I pull the mulch back, tear a little gash in the newspaper, pile a half-gallon of bagged composted manure into a three-inch high hill, and in goes the seed or seedling. Then the mulch goes back around the mound, I water thoroughly, and off it grows. The roots seem to grow more out than down, finding their way through the rich compost. Again the downside to this approach is that at least initially, the garden needs more water since the mulch drains so quickly and lies on top of the soil. Eventually I guess the mulch will become humus, and the newspapers will dissolve and maybe the water solution will be resolved.

Trying to keep things eco-friendly and cheap, I've used scavenged boards and leftover pavers to build the borders and spacers in the garden.


A pea ('Knight', a bushing type), pushing through the pine-straw mulch. The 'Cascadia' I planted at the same time hasn't shown itself.


'Florence Fennel', a bulbing fennel that I planted on October 23, and transplanted into the garden mid-November. I keep stepping on the tender things, but they are very forgiving.

1 comment:

Robert Brinkmann said...

This is so excellent!! I really love what you are doing with your vegetable garden!!

Since we are both in education, I thought you would enjoy this website I found through garden voices: