Saturday, February 23, 2013

the drunkie potager garden

I know this makes us look like total alcoholics, but I just couldn't resist the pretty, contrasting colors of Heineken, Bud Light Platinum, and Corona Light bottles for edging in my fancy dancy future potager garden. I haven't quite decided what's going to live here yet, but it will likely either be herbs and/or flowers. I splurged on the river rocks at $2.50 per bag for four bags.

You might wonder why I opted to lay the bottles on their sides instead of inverting them all like the center Corona ring, and that's because we live in Rocky Top territory, as I've mentioned numerous times before, and after slaving away on the center Corona ring, I got lazy and figured the side bottle option worked just fine.

The three remaining corners still need some trucked-in soil, and I've calculated that I need three more cubic yards of soil to finish the potager garden as well as the rest of my raised beds. Hopefully, after all this initial raised bed building I've done since we got here, I'll be able to maintain enough organic matter via cover crops and all that good stuff to minimize soil purchases in the future. There were many times when I contemplated an attempt at digging beds again to save on soil costs, but an investment in the type of tiller needed to break up our rocky clay soil would be far more, and I didn't really want to bug the neighbors to bring their tractor over for tilling.  

I used the free web app to figure out what will go where in my beds -- I definitely ordered way too many varieties of seeds, but the advantage is that I will be able to assess what ones do best in our climate and conditions.

After figuring out how much of each crop variety I want, I realized that I needed way more onion starts, so I made some origami pots out of newspaper and seeded four onions per larger pot (S = Stuttgarter, SRG = Southport Red Globe, TEG = Texas Early Grano, GP = Gold Princess), which still doesn't get me to where I need to be, but I don't have any more room under my grow lights. I was very disappointed in the first sowing of Stuttgarter and Gold Princess seeds from Baker Creek -- only two out of I think thirty seeds germinated whereas The Texas Early Grano and Southport Red Globe seeds from Sustainable Seed Company were at around 60%. I might be overestimating our onion needs, but I use onions nearly every time I cook something -- they're very important.

The lemon halves are seeded with Utah Tall celery -- if the lemon pots don't work, I'll make some more origami newspaper pots instead and reseed them.

The artichokies are clearly quite happy (I ended up with nine survivors) but look like they need some nitrogen, so I might use some diluted urine for fertilizer.

(excuse the poor-quality cameraphone picture)

We went on a beautiful hike today at our friends' property down the road. They're hoping to move out to their land this summer to start homesteading full time and were clearing brush and trees from the spot for their future home.

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