Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Checking out books and websites to help plan the garden

The weather is so crazy that it is hard to plan for the cold weather crops and "hope it is not beastly hot all sprig and summer." I spent this morning trimming tree branches and have many more to go. I am also building 4 compost piles to really build up the soil and expand my usable space. I clearly do not have enough green to put in but figure that the leaves will break down and provide much needed organic material to hold moisture near the plants. I had to move some of the planters to accommodate the giant tree my neighbor has that is providing too much southern shade in the afternoons-nice for them but bad for us as it really blocks the sun. I am almost out of rainwater too. The last 55 gallon barrel is ready to be pumped this week. I certainly hope we get some rain soon. I did have time to cover my gutters with the mesh to keep more of the leaves and berries out of the rain collection system this coming year. Initially I was going to get rid of the gallon jugs and the 3-5 gallon buckets but I am glad I didn't as they have really helped support the rainless fall. 

So back to the topic of books and websites. I found a couple of great books on display at WBCL and grabbed them up. One is Gardening for a Lifetime by Sydney Eddison where she outlines that your garden can get way ahead of what you can keep up with and how to simplify the garden to suit your abilities and desires over time. The other is going to be a favorite One Magic Square by Lolo Houbein. She has 30 different plot plans so you can grow a square yard or more and learn to grow vertically.  This is a lot like the square foot garden plan without the rigidness of artificial soil and special beds. I am sure as I browse the collection of gardening books there will be more. The book that set me on the track to "grow as much of our own veggies as possible" was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle : A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Nippy weather means it time to plan for garden frost

Great article in the Statesman on preparing the garden for these frosty nights. Nippy weather means it time to plan for garden frost
I put up some ideas for making your own pots and starting seedlings on the reference page with links to videos.