Getting Started On The 2013 Gardening Season

I can’t believe it’s almost March.    We just had a big snowstorm, but the actual gardening season will probably start in a couple of weeks.

I’m still going to take part in a CSA as a bit of insurance and because we like it.  It came in handy last year when we had a pretty miserable season.
The other day I started some broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, leek, collard greens, kale, chard, St. John’s Wort and goji berry seeds.  I’m hoping by the time they’re ready to go it will be time to start some tomato and pepper seeds.    I think a good portion of my mini-orchard failed last year so I might put goji berries in the containers for the mini-dwarf trees.

I still have spinach and arugula doing pretty well in my winter garden which I’ve been harvesting here and there as well as some cilantro, dill, pac choi, carrots, beets, turnips and kale that will probably take off right away in the spring.    I planted some seeds the open spaces of my greenhouse for a few different types of lettuces, turnips, kale, mustard greens, salsify and radishes.   Hopefully those will germinate soon and get a good start this spring.

I think I’m going to end up stapling chicken wire to wooden stakes to surround my beds individually, instead of hooking it to plastic posts.   That chicken wire has taken a beating, I think attaching it in sections to wooden posts is the best option.  I was kicking around the idea of fencing the whole area off, but this way keeps it open and should keep the dogs out.  We’ll see.   Last year there were a few disasters.   I heard that red pepper flakes keep them out (or at least they only do it once), I should’ve picked some up when I was at Stringtown Grocery.

I should have my bee hives shortly to assemble and then my bees will be ready to pick up in May.    I still need to build a cage to put around the hives in order to keep my dogs at bay.

Last year we had a killer drought and I also used a ton of rabbit manure as compost.   Rabbit manure doesn’t need to be composted in order to go into a garden (unlike some other manures), but I probably over did it by essentially using it as filler material for a few new beds.  I  know a girl that has a rabbit operation with about 100 rabbits, so I brought in a truck load (literally) of it.    I think those beds should be a little more stable, especially after mixing in a ton of leaves and such.   Either way, I’ll plant brassicas there because they demand a lot of nitrogen.

One good thing about this year is that there will be no such thing as “too much” of anything.   I’ve gotten pretty good with preservation, but I also now have a good monthly outlet for bartering these kinds of things and of course other people I can share with around here.     I’m starting 27 goji berry plants right now, figuring that I’ll end up bartering a few of those off.

Hopefully this year will be much better than last year, which was kind of a bust.   I’m going to try a few new things (maybe sorghum and sunflowers), ditch a few others and actually plan things out.   I started keeping a journal, I really regret not doing that the past few years.   Sometimes I’ll plant something and then forget what I put there.    This year I’ll keep tabs of what goes where and maybe keep track of what I harvest in order to get an idea of how much food I grew this year.


  • where are you bartering your plants?

    sorry if i missed it, still getting morning coffee in me, but sounds really interesting, especially since some stuff i can grow better than others and could have surplus if i wanted it

    • Ryan

      There’s a preparedness group that meets up here once a month and we just started bartering after the presentations. I’m thinking that if I get more seedlings than I need, that’s a great place for them.

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