Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gardening Goals 2011--March Update

Since March is pretty much a great month to get out and get the hands dirty, I thought I'd update you on our Gardening Goals progress!!

Goal #1:  Make a large vegetable garden in the front yard where there is full sun

Go, Pat! Go!!  March 2011
I must say, things are coming along nicely for Goal #1, especially since Pat purchased a used Troy-Bilt Pro Line CRT 160 Roto-Tiller!  We have been wanting one for a long time, but held off because mainly because we thought it'd be next to impossible to till a garden with our rocky terrain.  Boy were we wrong!  Just look at Pat!!  Go, Pat, Go!!!

And look at this dirt!  It drains, it crumbles, and it clumps nicely then crumbles again!  A vegetable gardener's dream!

Awesome Dirt--we'll send a sample to Texas A&M Soil
Lab for analysis
As for the vegetable garden we're working on, we do have quite a bit of rock to remove.  Pat wants to plant Cereal Rye this year to get a good start on our "green" portion of composting the soil.  I've already raked up about 25 wheelbarrow loads of leaves that Pat has tilled under.  Right now the size of the garden is  17' x 35' or 595 square feet.  I do hope I can convince Pat to plant a few things like cucumbers and squash and cantaloupe and watermelon and gourds [cuz I want to paint them and make birdhouses], etc.  It seems a shame not to just dive in.  However, I do see his point about taking our time and making the garden just so and amending the soil carefully so that our efforts produce a good crop of food.

Not only has Pat been busy tilling a vegetable garden, but he took our cinder blocks and made an onion bed out front as well.  We had planted onions in the same spot for several years in the herb garden, and they turned out nicely until the last couple of years.  Either they were not planted at the right time, or we failed to amend the soil properly.  Whatever the reason, our onion crop has been scant to say the least. 
New onion bed

Other goals that are in progress, include:

2.  Cut down at least 4 trees and reorganize wood pile:  We've cut down one tree that fell during the snow and re-organized the woodpile.

3.  Tidy all bulb gardens:  Why bother what was blooming just fine?  We'll probably nix this one!

4.  Cindy wants to re-work Turk's Cap garden:  I've gotten a good start, but have a long way to go.  I've dug up as many Parrot Lilies as possible, and more are growing as we speak.  A sort of Parrot Lilies' revenge most likely.  I need to rake out the leaves, trim the salvias some more as I was waiting for them to leaf out some before making drastic cuts, and purchase more plants!

5.  Replace and add more salvias:  Goes with #4, but there are many other areas in the yard we could use some salvias.  The cost of plants is most likely what will keep this lofty goal in check.

6.  Add more lovely herbs to the herb garden:  Pat has added some lettuces so far.  There haven't been many herbs out in pots to buy.  We definitely want to buy some Lemon Balm.  Pat did buy some Yarrow, but that is planted out front in full sun.

7.  Read Herb Gardening book and use herbs for soaps, oils, and such: I've started this somewhat.

8.  Get a few Guineas:  Waiting for our son Matt to graduate from SFA and move back home to help out with this project since he is---The Chicken Man!!

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