Garden Update

Garden is growing amazing. I’ve already given so much to friends. I love growing a garden but I need to get better at keeping up on the harvesting so it can stay healthy and grow more.

SWEET POTATO SLIPS PLANTED:


This is the first time I’ve grown my own sweet potato slips to plant in the garden. Actually I’ve never tried to grow sweet potatoes before. I think I may have planted them to close together. We will see how they turn out.

On the sides of the bed I planted herbs and marigolds.

MILK CRATES AS PLANTERS


I love milk crates. I make so many things with them; shoe racks, veggie baskets, storage bins and now I made them into planters.

The girls finally showed some interest in growing plants. I used all my growing space in the garden and I didn’t have space for another raised bed so I had the idea of making my milk crates into planters.

I lined the inside of the crates with landscaping fabric (that water can drain through nicely) and had the girls mix up some soil and fill the crates.

Since it was a little too late to plant seeds we drove to our local greenhouses and the girls picked out some plants. They ended up planting 8 crates with veggies and flowers and 2 wooden planters that were empty and begging to be used.

Yesterday I used a crate to plant peppermint, spearmint and mojito mint.

MAIN GARDEN

Napa cabbage bolting
Planted celery where the napa cabbage was.
Chard & Baby Bok Choy. Pulled out all the chard that went to seed and planted more chard in its place.
Broccoli Rabe and onions
Corn and potatoes
Bush beans, okra and cucumbers
Thinned out the beets and carrots
Edible flowers, pole beans and peas
Yummy peas! I was curious and ate one of the pea plant leaves. They are so tasty I was amazed!
Sweet bell pepper finally are starting some new growth and eggplants are a little bigger.
Collards, onions and dill
Strawberries, lettuce, arugula, spinach
Tomatoes and collards
Sage, kale, thyme, rosemary and basil
So I accidentally over watered the strawberries. The leaves started to brown on the edges. I clipped all the bad leaves and the new leaves are looking better.
Blueberries

STRAW BALE GARDEN

It seems that I must of done this right because everything is growing nicely.

Tomatoes
Flat leaf parsley
Hungarian Wax Hot peppers
Watermelon
Cauliflower
Red cabbage
Green cabbage
Pumpkin
Sugar Bush Acorn Squash
Burgess Buttercup Squash
Zucchini
Crookneck squash
Celery
Spaghetti squash
Marigolds
Cilantro

It’s been a crazy adventure so far. Today and tomorrow I build the soaker hose irrigation system. Wish me luck!

Garden Update

I apologize for taking so long to update you on the garden. I took some videos this time.

STRAW BALE GARDEN:

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Tomatoes
Tomatoes, Flowers, Hot Peppers, Basil
Cauliflower, Cabbage, Collards, Pumpkin, Acorn Squash, Watermelon, Cilantro, Thyme
Cauliflower, Acorn Squash, Summer Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Celery
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Zuchini

MAIN GARDEN:

 

Beets & Carrots
Sage, Kale, Basil, Thyme & Rosemary
Sweet & Hot Bell Peppers, Eggplant
Cucumbers, Bush Beans, Okra
Lettuce, Arugula, Spinach, Strawberries
Collards & Tomatoes
Edible Flowers, Peas & Pole Beans
Corn & Potatoes
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Red Onions, Broccoli Rabe
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Romain Lettuce, Napa Cabbage, Baby Bok Choy
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Baby Bok Choy
Chard
Eggplant, Sweet Bell Peppers
Collards, Dill & Red Onions

SWEET POTATO SLIPS – STRAWBERRY TOWER:

Sweet Potato Slips
Strawberries the girls harvested this morning.

 

This has been a great adventure this year in the garden! I have been getting so much joy from it.

I hope you all are having just as much fun as I am.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Update

It has been raining for a few days then this happened yesterday…

SNOW!

Today was a beautiful day. So I finally got some more stuff done in the garden.

FENCE:

In the rain and cold my honey helped me put the chicken wire fence up. It’s almost done. Waiting for some stakes to come in on Wednesday.

PLANTS:

Sage

Sage grew a lot!

Strawberries

I cleaned up the strawberries. For the most part they did pretty good in the cold. Some leaves were hurt but I picked them off.

Chard

Same with the chard. I removed all the damaged leaves from the cold.

GROUND COVER:

Since I got the fence up I was able to lay down the rest of the straw. This will help the large and vine plants that grow to the ground stay cleaner and dryer.

Before
After

STRAW BALE CONDITIONING:

Unfortunately because of the rain and cold I have done nothing with the bales. I did give them a good watering today but that’s it. ☹️  The bales seem to be staying 60 degrees inside. That’s good considering our night temps have been 28-30 degrees, day temps 40’s.

Tomorrow I start work again. Won’t be able to play in the garden until Thursday. Bummer.

MASON JAR HERB GARDEN:

I did put together my mason jar herb garden today.

 

Rosemary, Spearmint, Lemon Balm, Cilantro, Basil, Thyme, Oregano

 

Parsley, Sage, Dill, Chives

INDOOR STARTS:

Are looking good! Started tomatoes today.

Until next time – Happy Gardening!

Straw Bale Gardening: Watering with Soaker Hoses

Just a quick post because I am so excited! My Automatic 4 Zone Water Timer just arrived!!


This baby is going to free up so much time for me this summer. Hopefully, no more worrying about having someone water the garden when I need to leave for a few days.

Maybe I’ll do more camping this summer with the family!?!?

Until next time – Happy Gardening!!

Straw Bale Gardening: Watering with Soaker Hoses

So in my last post I believe I mentioned I didn’t think one soaker hose going down the middle of the bales would be efficient enough to water the plants . . . I just upgraded!!

A simple “y” fitting, another 100′ of soaker hose, a coupler and I’m satisfied!

I grid out the bales into three rows. So I could plant in each row and the soaker hoses will do thier magic of slowly watering eveningly.

I was a little concerned towards the end. One row of hose was too short to reach the end of the bales and the other was to long.

So they have a fitting for that! I just wrapped the long hose around and attached to the short one with a female brass hose coupler. It worked perfectly! My upgrade cost less than $22! Approximately $13 for 100′ feet of soaker hose, $5 for the “y” fitting & $4 for the coupler.

Well as you can tell in the last picture it’s getting dark. I had to use the flash to take the photo.

Until next time – Happy Gardening!!!

Straw Bale Gardening: Bale Conditioning Day 7-12

Things are moving along slowly but it is still cooler temps here in MT and raining. Also since I have so many bales to water at once I’m just using my well water which is cold. During the conditioning process it mentions to use warm water to help break down the straw faster.

Using cold water and an organic nitrogen source during conditioning will most likely prolong the process a week or more.

I followed the instructions for day 1-6 exactly. I’m changing things up for day 7 – 9+.

Here are the oringinal instructions for day 7 – 9:

Day Seven to Nine

Days seven through nine use half the rate used on day one. This would be ¼ cup of a complete garden fertilizer or 1 ½ cups of Milorganite fertilizer. Thoroughly water the bale each time.

Since I’m not using warm water during the conditioning process the Milorganite fertilizer is not breaking down quickly. It’s actually accumulating a good pile on top of the bales. See the pic below…

Since there is so much nitrogen still on the bales I’ve decided to just water in between the days that I add 1.5c of Milorganite. So this is my new conditioning schedule:

DAY 7: 1.5c Milorganite and water

DAY 8: water (I’m here right now)

DAY 9: 1.5c Milorganite and water

DAY 10: water

DAY 11: 1.5c Milorganite and water

DAY 12: water

I am at day eight right now. I have a long compost thermometer pushed in one of the bales and yesterday morning it read 40 degrees. The whole day was beautiful and warm, finally. This morning the bale read 60 degrees. So it seems the bales are finally starting to cook. Yes!!!

WATERING!?!?!?

I’ve added a soaker hose to the bales. One hose doesn’t seem to be enough. I’m thinking of attaching a “y” fitting at the beginning of the hose and running two soaker hoses instead. I feel this will water the bales more efficiently.

I’ve also decided to create a soaker hose irragation system for the main garden.  At this point I have expanded my garden to 380 square feet of growing area, so watering everyday, sometimes twice is going to be a harder challenge for me.

I did a lot of research and sketching. After a few headaches I figured out how I was going to build it. I have ordered everything and now just waiting.

Until next time – Happy Gardening.

Straw Bale Gardening: Bale Conditioning Day 1-6

Today was windy & cold but sunny so I spent the whole day outside in the garden.

I broke open my first bag of organic nitrogen “Milorganite” to start the conditioning process of the straw bales.


I am using the conditioning guidelines from the milorganite website…

Day One to Six
On day one, spread fertilizer over the top of the bale. Use a ½ cup of a complete garden fertilizer or three cups of an organic fertilizer like Milorganite. Then completely moisten the bale. The organic fertilizers feed the microorganisms that help decompose the straw into a nutrient rich planting medium. Thoroughly soak the bale everyday. On days three and five you will add more fertilizer at the same rate used on day one…

PROTECTION:

I decided I didn’t want the deer to have a feast on the straw bale garden plants, so I’m going to build another fence. I needed 11 t-posts, checked my stash from last year and had the exact amount. I took this as a good sign. So I pounded 11 t-posts in the ground today! I’m pretty sure I’m going to be sore tomorrow!

I have a large roll of chicken wire that was given to me two summers ago. I’m finally going to be able to use it. I hope it’s enough.

LIGHTING:

The lighting I put in last week looks pretty cool.


Next weekend I hope to get the fence up. If anyone has used the straw bale garden method with success, please share your stories.

Until next time, happy gardening!