Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring Planting

The picture that I will post are from about two to three weeks ago. I have planted all of my spring garden and I am now planning my summer garden. As I have worked this year in my garden I really think that getting the soil ready is really one of the most important things that you can do. It took me about a good solid two weeks of tilling in organic matter and manure. We have a lot of trees around our backyard and a lot of leaves, we take all of the leaves and till them in to the soil, we added a good manure to the soil and till it all in.
I also wanted to plant the best seeds that I could get, organic and heirloom, I chose my seeds from companies that do not modify there seeds or put chemicals on them. This was important to me, because I want to provide the very best food for my family.

In this picture I have planted a heirloom organic Arugula, from Botanical Interests. It is in a big planter box that in the past I have used for cherry tomatoes. The box is about 3 and a half feet tall and about four feet by four feet wide. I wanted to plant my lettuce in this planter to save room for other veggies in the garden that I can store and can..
In the top planter you see the Organic Arugula, and in the front planting box I did a little experiment and planted Organic pretty in pink radishes by Seeds of change. I wanted to see how radishes do in a planter box..

we love mustard greens in our house, we add them to salads and anything that we want to add flavor. I decided that I am going to plant my mustard greens in a large planter pot. This is Organic mizuna mustard green that has a nice spicy flavor that we love to add to out salad blends....

This is a beautiful mustard green that is called Red Giant, this is used as salad greens or cooked like spinach.
 Here I have planted a organic spinach Bloomsdale, Excellent flavor, bolt resistant, and easy to grow. A nutritional powerhouse that is delicious fresh or steamed... This is in the raised bed that I also have garlic in form the fall of 2010..

Here i have planted Romain in a planting box that is made out of cedar and is about 3 and a half feet high, and is about three feet by three feet wide.. Great for the spring garden...
This planter box my husband made for our herbs. In the middle I have oregano that is a perennial from two years ago and I have added thyme and planted more oregano from seed which is sprouting out great in the colder weather in the south..
 In the first two planters I planted English Thyme, in the second two I have planted mint. This year I decided to plant all or most of my herb in planters and I planted enough of the herbs that I can use them fresh in our cooking and I will be able to cut and dry the herds for use later in the year.
I planted an organic Parsley in four pot, this is the first year that I have planted Parsley they are doing great in the pots. After I planted them I did not see the sprouts for all most a month and half, then we have had a couple of really warm day and they all came out...
In this raised bed I planted carrots, I know it is really hard to see them in the picture, but they are very small sprouts. I planted Atomic Red Heirloom from True Seed, Coral-red with 9" roots and medium tops, cooking deepens color and improves texture and taste. Little Fingers from Botanical Interests, Heirloom, this is a mini carrot thought it would be fun. Royal Chantenay from Botanical Interests, Heirloom, this carrot is an all around excellent carrot sweet flavor, shallow soil growth and storage ability 5''-6'' long. Last one I planted Cosmic Purple, Unique purple skin conceals the beautiful orange interior loaded with sweet and crunchy flavor.
In this raised bed the sprouts that are closest are Spinach Monstrueux de Viroflay from Botanical Interests, Heirloom, Huge, deep green, tender, tasty leaves are a spinach lovers delight. Give this one more room in your plot; the plant can get up to 24" wide and 10" long, Extremely vigorous. Easy to Grow. In the back of the bed I have radishes two different varieties. Pretty In Pink Organic from Seeds Of Change and Plum Purple organic from Seeds of change.
This is the rest of my garden, in the first row I planted radishes Cherrybelle  in the second row I planted trance plants of Cabbage, Califlower and Broccoli. In the third row I planted beets in the whole row, 1/3 is organic heirloom Detroit Dark Red from True seed, 1/3 Detroit Dark Red From Botanical Interests, Heirloom, and the last third I planted a Beet gourmet blend from Botanical Interests, In the blend it includes  Bulls blood with deep red tops and candy stripe roots, Chioggia with interior rings of bright pink and white, and Golden with bright yellow flesh. Each row is about 40 ft long and the planting bed is 15" wide on the top of each row, I like to do wide row planting for a better yield and continues harvesting. I broad cast my seeds in the planting bed that I make as wide as my hard rack. I do not spare on my seeds, I plant heavy and thin out when they are 1" tall. To thin I just take my hard rack and pull it right throw the seed beds, letting the rack pull out any of the little seedlings. This is a good way to thin for two reasons not only is it easy but the rack opens up the ground and allows air to get the seedlings that are still in the ground, helping them to grow big and strong.
This is my fourth row I wanted to show a close up, here I have planted transplants of broccoli, and in the end of the row you see onions that are from our fall Garden last year. I planted my fall garden of 2010 late and my onions did great they stay in the ground all through winter and started growing again in the spring.. You can not see in this picture but i have planted lettuce all through my broccoli, its a little experiment.

My 5th row I only planted the back 1/3 part of the row with more carrots, and left the rest of the row unplanned. In the sixth row I have half green onion from last year growing great and I have the other half of the row that I planted Dill Bouquet Organic Heirloom which has nor come up yet... and I do not have pictures of yet. In the seventh and eighth row I have half white slicing onions that I planted in the fall of 2010 and are now growing great. and the other half of the row is Red Norton potatoes.

I will continue to take picture of the Garden as it grow and changes....

Monday, March 21, 2011

Getting Started

 This is my third year gardening, and every year I love it more and more. This year I have decided to have a blog and document my garden, for my own records and for other people too. I live in Charlotte NC and it is already warming up, I have planted all of my spring garden.

In this picture you can see that I have four raised beds that my husband made out of cedar, they are 12-14 ft long and 6 inch high and about 4 feet wide. I filled the beds with a mushroom compost garden soil that I found at a landscape company.  This soil is amazing everything grows so well in it, I get great plants with a large harvest. In the rest of my garden I create a raised row by pile up dirt and smoothing it out with a hard rake for planting. This year I bought two truck loads of a straight mushroom compost and have tilled it into the soil before I began to create my rows. 

This raised bed is 12 inch high, in this picture you can see two trenches that I have dug for potatoes. This is my first year that I have planted potatoes. I am very excited, but I have no experience with potatoes.

 Here I planted Red Norton potatoes, in the trench about 12 inches apart, and will cover them with 4 inches of dirt.

In the raised bed you can see green sprouts, that is garlic that we planted in the fall of 2010. It is growing beautifully, it is about 4-6 inches high. this year I also decided that I would put all my herbs and lettuce in containers. They do good in containers and it leaves more room in the garden for other veggies..

 In this picture I have started to plant in the raised rows, I started with transplants I bought from our local hardware store. This is Broccoli, I like to plant them about 10 inches apart so as they grow there leaves will touch slightly and will shade the ground around them and prevent weeds to grow up...

I will continue to take pictures and record my Garden this year.