Tuesday, September 9, 2008


gearing up for spring
LOTS going on here in getting ready for spring. The grape plants I ordered are in, I just have to put up the arbors in the front yard. The blackberry plants are in too, and I'll have to add to the arbors for those that are already out back.I also decided to make a trellis across the front of the 4 car wide parking area in front of the house and transplant wild blackberries from my parents place. We ordered 50 more strawberry plants also, and I'll have to make another bed for those between the garden and the blackberries. We decided to go ahead and order fruit trees too, so 2 each dwarf apple and peach trees will be on the way soon. I'll put those out front as well since I'm almost out of room in the back.
The vegetable garden is all planned and laid out on paper in a exact 12x12 grid. I decided to make raised beds for the smaller plants and root crops. (carrots, lettuce, beets etc...) The rest is laid out in 45 foot long rows. We decided to try a few new things this year like potatos, turnips, and popcorn. Most plants are already started inside from seed and doing well. There are nearly 3-30 gallon trash cans of compost outside waiting for the garden, and I plan to make my own compost tumbler this year from plastic 55 gallon drums. I am also going to make an 8 foot cold frame and put it along the fence next to the composters. Hopefully this will keep us in greens next winter,and be useful for starting plants next spring. I'm also tossing around the idea of building a small greenhouse, maybe 8x8, but I'm not sure yet.
It's going to be a lot of initial work this spring, but the total outcome is going to be worth the effort. We plan to can or freeze even more this year than we have in the past. We have more than enough tomato plants started to be able to not only make our usual tomato sauce, juice, and salsa, but this year make spaghetti and pizza sauce. We are going to invest in a pressure canner this year too, so we can make bulk pots of soups and can those too. We've already got a good start on soup stock in the freezer from boiling down chicken and freezing the broth. Almost nothing is going to waste here anymore.
Off to work now, so more soon.

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