Friday, April 10, 2009

A busy day in the veggie patch

We had great weather today so I headed out to get things done in the garden. I accomplished the following:
  • finished installing the top two raised beds
  • screened the finished compost
  • moved the cold frame as it is where the brassica's will be planted
  • cleared the existing raised beds
  • amended the raised beds with blood & bone meal and compost.
  • planted out the romaine that was winter sown
Here are a series of photos I took well amending the raised beds:

Cleared, turned & raked soil

Compost flying in. Applied at a rate of 1" on all the beds.

More compost on the lower beds.

I then applied a good dusting of Blood & Bone meal.

The amendments were scratched into the soil and then
I light tamped everything in place.

After all that amending I just couldn't resist planting something. I choose to risk the romaine lettuce that was winter sown in early February. I think the weather is fair enough now that they should do fine. Any time below freezing temperatures are forcasted over night I will make sure to cover them with row cover. I can taste the salads already!

Earlier on I thinned the romaine to three plants per cell.
I then cut them all apart to have a total of 12 romaine
plants to plant out.

They are planted right against the foundation that faces
south. This wall alone should hold enough heat the get
them through any cold spells.

That's all for this post. My next post will be on my composting system and the new compost screen I just built. Is there anything better then finished compost? Its like gardeners crack cocaine.


  1. long as you don't put pine needles in it! Then it sux...Looks like you had a busy day. Thanks for fixing the picture!

  2. The compost looks perfect. I bet the new screen is a thing of beauty and an inspiration! I have a small screen that I constructed but could really use a much larger one. Will be interested to see what you put together.

  3. I don't know how many more beautiful gardening days my body will stand! I swear, there's not a square inch of my body that doesn't hurt tonight. Wonderful, isn't it!!! I just love to look at freshly raked and/or planted garden beds. It makes the aches all worthwhile.

  4. Hi Dan! Sounds like you were busy playing in the dirt today too :-) We had salads for dinner tonight -- Romaine Lettuce (my favorite!) and Red Sails. Yours will be ready to harvest before you know it. Cool idea to plant it next to the foundation to protect it from cold weather.

  5. They look so happy in their new digs. I'm sure they will be fine. Lettuce can handle a lot of cold at least if it is hardened off well.

    And no there is nothing better than finished compost. I want some. My oak leaves took just too long. I really need to shred them before putting them in the pile.

  6. Nothing like compost. I've been adding it to my perennial beds to build them up. I don't have a screen though so sometimes there are avocado seeds going out there and egg shells that haven't broken down.

    We noticed on some cups we got that they said they were made from corn starch and would compost. I put them in last summer and they haven't broken down yet. When I find them at the bottom of my composter I toss them back on top.

  7. Yesterday was a wonderfully warm day and you certainly were busy. Looks good!

  8. Wow Dan, Looks like you had a hard days work in the garden. I'm thinking about putting some of my seedlings out today and leaving them with row cover on to protect.
    Last year at this time my beds were still covered with snow!

  9. Looking good! You're lettuce should do fine. I had romaine that lasted in my fall garden until it was consistently in the 20's.

  10. Agree with Chiot's. Romaine tends to be pretty hearty.

    We had a nice big home-grown salad last night. I sure love the spring!

  11. EG - No pine trees near me so I can't make the same mistake. Maybe you can make a really fine screen to get them out. Glade you like the text I made for you.

    KitsapFG - The screen worked great, I will post about it probably Monday.

    Granny - I agree. My body has not felt that exhausted since last spring. Winters inactivity can sure bite you in the butt.

    Judy - Lots of dirt playing for sure, can't wait to be harvesting greens again.

    Daphne - I think they will be fine as well. They have been in the frame all their life so they are good and hardy. Maybe you could run your oak leaves over with the lawn mower before composting them, that's what I do with my maple leaves.

    Marcia - I have seen those bio-degradable items but have not tried composting them. We just received a plastic mailer that is bio-degradable but it said it takes up to two years.

    Rosemary - The weather was pretty perfect. Looks like all next week should be pretty good too.

    Emily - We are usually without the white stuff this time of year. It is however not uncommon to have a few spring snows like we had last week. I am hoping that doesn't happen again.

    Chiot's Run - Then they should do fine. We have a few nights with lows in the 20's but with the covering it should be much warmer for them.

    Sandy - Seems like the consensus is romaine is pretty hardy, looks like I picked a good candidate to risk.

  12. I swear, you have to be like living next to the Jones' of veggie gardening. Your beds always look so nice!

  13. Fresh lettuce-yahoo! Have a great weekend!

  14. Love to know I'm not the only one who can't wait to plant.

    Happy Easter.

  15. The Romaine looks good. I'm regretting not starting some indoors earlier.

  16. What lovely beds, dark and rich and YUMMY! I'm excited for you. ::g::

  17. Zach - Thanks. I'd like to say my soil took a lot of work to created but I had it all trucked in, insta-garden!

    Tina - Can't wait for it to grow. I planted more lettuce seed today, I am going to have it coming out of my ears.

    Dennis - The clock is ticking for brassica planting, only about a week to go.

    Sally - If it is any consolation I wish I started some indoors too. I winter sowed this but if I also start some indoors at the same time I would probably be harvesting already.

    Just Jen - Thanks, the soil is looking very nice now that it is all primped for planting.

  18. It's just so great to get lovely sunny weather this time of year. I've been outside getting lots of stuff done too. Heartwarming to see the little lettuces almost ready to eat. All this bank holiday rain will do them a power of good!

  19. Matron - The lettuces are doing great and in a couple days we will be almost hitting 20c. They should love that.

  20. Great looking lettuce. Very cool pics. I planted out my lettuce under hoop covers about the same time. Great minds... hehe

  21. Sinfonian - It seems everyone was busy planting easter weekend. Wasn't it great to plant outdoors?