Friday, January 30, 2009

Dirt Digging Dreams...

We have been pondering the best way to lay out the gardens for this year. Do we build raised beds? Should we double dig? What will we use to support the really heavy plants? Last year, all of our local garden supply stores ran out of tomato cages. We had a heck of a time trying to support tomato and pepper plants with whatever we could find around the house. One feeble attempt included tying twine to our chain link fence and to wooden stakes pounded into the ground.The twine stretched almost daily so we were constantly re-staking and twine tightening. It was a never-ending (and losing) battle.

I have drawn up several versions of possible garden layouts for 2009 and I am almost at my wit's end. (I may just be desperate enough to just scatter two fistfuls of seed in the wind and eat whatever sprouts!)

I am really looking forward to warmer weather just so we can commit to one design and start planting. Until then, our gardening plans change every time we see something online that looks like a good idea. Unfortunately, I am online all day, everyday and there are a lot of good ideas to be gleaned.

Today, I actually had an opportunity to do a little digging in the dirt...er, peat, that is. I started some onions and leeks in my cute little seed starting kit that uses peat pellets. I found the replacement peat pellets last year at the end of the growing season for 59 cents at Kmart. I am usually not a fan of overly packaged products but when I opened the package, I found that there were some extremely sturdy plastic trays. I am determined to re-use and re-purpose them for a hydroponics project another day.

1 comment:

Melissa ~ Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

I have done the double dig method - ok, truth is hubby did the harder digging. We've tilled. We've done pots. But, the easiest and best for us was square foot gardening. Check into Paul's blog http://apaetoday.blogspot.com/ where he just posted some trellis photos for beans, cucumbers and tomatoes. I LOVE SFG method. I can plant very densely and get high yields with little weeds. I still grow potatoes in the old row method because we plant a LOT of them. You might just want to do one or two beds to start. Then, you'll be hooked too. And, it's easy to fill them too. I don't do the exact recipe the book calls for. I do use a lot of home made compost and shredded leaves/grass in mine. Also, when starting a new bed, I put it right on top of the grass. Then, spread manure. Wet it. Put several sheets thick of newspaper. Wet it. Fill in with manure, compost and shredded leaves/grass. Easy as that!