Monday, April 7, 2014

Doing the Mulch/Compost Shuffle

I'm trying to work with the processes of decomposition to get the beds ready for planting by the end of the month if only the compost will finish.  Two beds are up and running.  The greenhouse bed, which no longer has a plastic tent over it, has a good stand of overwintered spinach and lettuce seedlings.  Another bed has onion seedlings and garlic in it, and another bed has the first set of cole crops growing in it.  Both beds got what little compost that was available from the bin.  That leaves five beds that have to be made ready in the next few weeks.

Then there's the new or very recent beds.  The bed I like the best has a stone perimeter.  None of that transient wood border here, it's built to last.  Originally I planned to put raspberries in this bed, but like most of my plans they were changed.  So this bed, built last fall, will get asparagus at one end, perennial herbs at the other, and strawberries in the middle.  But first the cover of shredded leaves had to be removed.  But where to put them?  They will go into that bed at the top of the picture, which will be the new raspberry bed.

Yes the bed is kind of out there in the middle of nowhere, but it's unused space and raspberries aren't that demanding.   I checked Indiana Berry and they don't ship the plants until April 24.  April 24?  Seems kind of late but we have had a late spring.  The bed is on a slope and the stakes hold two long 2x4's that hold back the soil.

So I moved the shredded leaves from the brick-lined bed to this bed and put some landscape fabric over them so they don't blow away.  When the raspberry plants arrive I'll take off the fabric and just move the leaves aside to put in the plants.

The soil is too wet and cold to plant asparagus.  That will probably happen in about a week.  I did get some herbs in the one end - sage, thyme, chives, Mexican oregano and winter savory, and some parsley in another bed.

The mobile coldframe is performing well.  I think it's insulating properties will allow me to move peppers and tomatoes into it in a few weeks, sort of a way stop on the way to the beds.  On nights that have a mild frost the coldframe is able to maintain temperatures around 40 F, well above freezing.  For now there are some extra red onion seedlings, red tropea onions, some extra brassicas and the strawberries biding their time.

The lettuce in the Earthbox is looking good.  Maybe in a week it will be ready.

1 comment:

Lynda said...

Very nice! I like the bricks around the garden bed...I like edgings around my garden and brick is a favorite.

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