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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gardening

Still gardening here in northeast Oklahoma.  We had frost this morning, but this afternoon it was 77°!  Last week I harvested the last of my cilantro, one carrot that survived among the dill, and one last red bell pepper.

I am now in the mode of preparing for next year.  I planted some garlic bulbs yesterday.  I've never grown garlic.  I know it's a bit late to plant, but I thought it was worth a shot.  I'm also researching what seeds I want to buy for next year.  I plan on ordering from Baker Seed Company.

The past few weeks I have spent preparing my new beds for next year.  I'm excited to try square foot gardening next year.  You can check out the book, Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew, or the website Square Foot Gardening.com.

I went to the hardware store and intended on buying 1 x 6 boards, but the 2 x 6 size were actually cheaper.  I had them cut into 4-foot lengths and my husband built these for me (these are 4 x 4):Square Foot Gardening

I have them spaced 3 feet apart, on all sides.  I put down a layer of newspaper (had to water the newspaper to get it to stay put) and then layered grass clippings on top.  (Note for future projects:  Do not do this on a windy day!)

Grass in BoxesI then layered some leaves into each box.  These are called lasagna beds.  This is a way to avoid tilling and digging.  The leaves and grass will decompose and provide lots of organic matter to enrich the soil.Leaves in BoxesThen I layered what soil I already had, from my containers used last summer. I will buy some mushroom compost in the spring to layer on top.  Then each year, I will keep adding layers of grass and leaves and keep feeding the soil.

Further out in the yard, I have built a heap.  I laid some newspapers down and then I piled up my zinnias, the pumpkin vine, my basil branches, and pepper plants in a pile.  On top of that I shoveled all the compost I had (it wasn't completely decomposed, but it has some good dark matter in it and it smelled good).  Then I layered some leaves on top.  In the spring I will add some mushroom compost and this will be my pumpkin hill.  I will plant a couple varieties of pumpkin and let them roam around the yard.  (You can see the heap in the foreground of this picture.)
Pumpkin Pile

I am in the process of building herb beds to line my patio.



And I would also like to expand the flower bed for next year.  This year I grew zinnias and marigolds (below), we'll see what next year holds!

Bee Marigold

I'm so excited for next spring to get here!  How has your gardening gone this past year?

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tutorial on natural gardening. You have given me some great direction for what we need to do! Hope it's not to late for me to try this tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're welcome! I've got more to come.

    No, it's not too late.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
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