Garden Itch.

Garden itch….tickles me, makes me think of lake itch…and of being a kid in the Midwest. Anyone from the Midwest knows lake itch!

For my birthday, the hubby got me a series of gardening classes through the Oregon Tilth. The first one was this past week and was about growing greens year round. The class itself was good, but nothing spectacularly new to me. However, it did do one very important thing for me. It lit the fire. This weekend had to be a planting weekend to ensure that I do not get behind…which always seems to happen to me. Also, this weekend was cloching weekend. We MUST dry out that soil to make it workable. It will also give me a place to harden off the seedlings I just started and allow me to plant outside in about a month!

Friday after work, I got to go to a nursery wholesale store, OBC Northwest, to purchase things for my garden. They sell to the public, lucky for me. We got agricultural grade plastic for much less expensive than the stuff at Home Depot or Lowe’s would have been, and it has a four year warranty, won’t crack or discolor and is made to be outside. This is great because every time we use that plastic that is made for painting it ends up being a waste of money. This stuff worked great and was durable and easy to install. We also got frost guard, a soil thermometer and lots of plant labels for my seedlings.

Saturday I got to go get the needed PVC to make the rest of my hoops. Last season we only pre-installed half of the hoop systems. We ran out of time and knew we would need to retrofit the others this year. Eric installed them while I weeded around some bulbs that are starting to come up. I also noticed strong buds on the azalea and new growth on the peonies. I removed some leaves around the peaking tulips and noticed the day lilies that the neighbor pawned off on me last fall were breaking ground.

Sunday we installed the plastic. This year we employed a sand bag method to hold the plastic down. This way there won’t be any damage to the plastic in strong winds, and the sand bags are easier to move than bricks. We used 5 bags, 50 pounds each of sand to fill 28 sand bags. We only cloched three of the boxes. Should we decide we want to cloche the other four in the front yard, we will need 28 more sand bags.

Supervisory Ski

The ends of the cloches are always a pain! I like this folding method we developed and I am going to invest in some adhesive zippers so I can get into them.

Supervisor Cactus

I also seeded several flats of early season items, broccoli, greens, cabbage, kohlrabi, quinoa in the house. Hope to get them outside under the cloches in a few weeks. I also hope to be able to plant peas, beets, turnips, carrots, radishes, kale, and chard outside in the next few weeks. These veggies in particular don’t like to be transplanted, so I have to direct sow them. With luck the cloches will do their job and this will be possible!

The critters that are already in the garden were looking perky this weekend. The Brussels are starting to leaf out and the garlic is looking good. Can’t wait for the very first harvest of the year!!!

Brussels Sprouts

Garlic

Happy planning!

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