Sunday, April 6, 2014

GARDEN JOURNAL: April 6th, 2014

Green onions and Lettuce under the grow lights

Spring is sort of grudgingly starting to rear it's head here in Iowa.  Things (you know "things")seem like they are about 2 weeks behind.  Winter must have gotten some pretty good life coaching last year because he really came in motivated with a purpose and tenacity this year and doesn't seem to want to relax and take a vacation.  And, yes, of course Winter is a he. Don't even try to argue. 

Yesterday, I started to clean up the yard and prepare beds.  I didn't get my chard and kale started inside so wanted to get the seeds in the ground for outside germination. On the main long bed I added some organic fertilizer, well turned in so my dogs don't lick it off the dirt, and spread some worm castings.   As I opened up my other compost, I was dismayed to find that apparently I am the world's worst at making compost.  I have one "real" tumbler composter and 3 homemade bins and granted I'm lazy and don't turn them very often but for goodness sake they have been cooking for 1.5 to 3 years.  My understanding is that even without turning you will eventually get compost  - it just takes longer.  Apparently I've got something else going on like my ratio of green stuff to brown stuff is off.  At least my worms are doing their job.  I am being bested by worms.
My ugly compost area
The bed I spent a bunch of time getting prepared yesterday. Nothing ended up getting planted here.
Before planting the Kale (Lacinato) and Chard (Rainbow) today, I was looking up some stuff on it and discovered that Kale and Tomatoes are not good companions.  I had intended to plant them together (as they were last year) so that kind of threw things off and the kale is now planted in pots.  While researching that led me to a great webpage on the Mother Earth News website that lists good and bad companions for most veggies and herbs you can think of - very useful!

I started my tomatoes and peppers and some Basil and Angelica 2-3 weeks ago and the tomatoes are well on their way with the peppers being a little slower.
Sleepy Peppers

Tomatoes gone wild
One thing that was kind of depressing yesterday was how ugly my yard is right now.  Part of that is just coming out of winter and spring not having really sprung.  Part of it is that I haven't really done much, besides the veggie planting, to make it a nice place to be. Part of it is the two hairy beasties that do their best to create a wasteland.   In my perusals of the internets I found this buzzfeed list with some great DIY Ways to Make You Backyard Awesome This Summer.  Some of these look super charming and most are likely beyond my DIY skills but I might play with some of them.

So how's spring looking over your way?  Any gardening adventures to report?  Anything new you are trying this year?

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