Winter, Gardening, Birthdays

We’re well into winter and that means we are starting to look forward to spring and working in our garden.  This will be our fourth year with a garden.  Although we’ve been happy with our garden, some of what we planted just didn’t turn out – as in, it didn’t come up out of the ground, or the particular vegetable didn’t mature, or, the expected amount of harvest just didn’t occur.  We know that part of the problem is our soil – which is actually clay – which is probably the worst growing medium for a garden.  We added lots of compost and we know that helped, but we wanted a little more science to support us.  So – we bought a handy dandy soil test kit…

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…and we discovered it was a miracle that we managed to grow anything these last three years.  We are low on nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and our soil is alkaline.  So – we’ll be amending the soil (clay) even more this year with compost and whatever else we read about that will help us get better results.

To prepare our strawberry plants for the winter, we learned that a blanket of straw would help to protect them.  So, yesterday afternoon we laid straw down over the plants.  Here is Mr. Fifty Shades breaking open the bag – you can hardly see him since he’s in camouflage…

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Here he is starting to spread the straw over the berries.

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All done.

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When the job was done, I showed up.

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And,…if today is your birthday, Scout and Sage celebrated by taking naps in your honor.2016-01-18 02.51.042016-01-18 02.51.44

Until next time,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres


6 thoughts on “Winter, Gardening, Birthdays

  1. I really liked your post on the clay soil. It brought back memories of our life in PA Dutch country. We had clay soil. We muted with all of our lawn grass clippings, bought spoiled hay from neighboring farmers and even picked up bags of lawn clippings on garbage day in town. Added mulch all summer long, left it lay all winter, and tilled it in in the Spring. Did that for 4 years and had a deep rich loamy soil when we left. Here’s a fun trick with mulch. Don’t plant potatoes. “Rough up” the ground, cut your spuds with an eye on each piece, then lay the pieces in row 3 feet apart. Space the spuds every 6 inches. Cover lightly with mulch. When the shoots break through, add more mulch. Keep adding all summer. At harvest, pull back the mulch and pick up the potatoes. During the summer, pull up a section of mulch, reach in and grab a couple of handfuls of baby potatoes. Delicious!

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