Thursday, March 3, 2011
PLANNING THE GARDEN
As I said in the previous entry I will be planting in a 5 year old garden as well as tilling up a new area.
Above: the the new area to till up.
I just read an article about how to keep perennial weeds under control. The idea is when you disturb the ground you are "planting" the perennial weeds..so do not disturb the ground. What I will need to do in the fall of this year is till the garden for the season and put a 6 inch layer of organic matter down. This will enable the garden to be ready for spring with no waiting to it to be dry enough to till and keep light from the perennial seeds. Then from year to year as you keep the perennial weeds under control, you only have to keep putting down more organic matter and as it decays you are nourishing the ground and controlling the weeds. I am going to try that for next year.
This year, however, I had not planned for that so I will be tilling up the old garden and putting organic matter around the plants as I go in hope of keeping the weeds under control, keeping moisture in the ground and nourishing my plants as the matter decays.
New items I want to add will be many different types of herbs and two additional perennial items that will need 2 to 3 years before they are productive.
THE NEW PERENIAL ITEMS will be:
Asparagus and rhubarb.
I already have a strawberry patch that is about 5 years old so I am going to weed that out and separate some of my plants to give the patch more room to breathe and use those new plants to expand my patch. This would probably have been better done in the fall but I just did not plan well so I am going to do this just as soon as I can get in and dig the ground. Strawberries are the first crop I sell at the Farmers Market with great success. I should be able to get my seed money for other crops from my Strawberries.
I canned up some Strawberry preserves from the strawberries that were picked Sunday through Wednesday that became to ripe to sell at the Farmers Market on Saturday. It was an experiment to see if the preserves would sell. I canned up 14 ½ pints and sold all of them in 2 months at $3.75 a one half pint jar. Each jar of preserves cost me about $1.50. This included the pectin, sugar and jar, the strawberries were of course free.
So during Strawberry picking time I will be demonstrating picking the strawberries, presenting them at the Farmers Market and canning the preserves.
To make room for my new asparagus and rhubarb I will be digging up some of my duplicated iris’s. I will dry the roots of these plants(Orris root) to make chips of root put add into my potpourri. These roots when dried are supposed to sell like violets with a very strong smell. I have never done this before so we will just see together if it turns out the way the books explain that it does.
I already have spearmint planted that is really spreading out much farther than I would like so I am going to dig this out and put it back in the same place as a raised bed plot to control the spread. I will be drying some of these leaves to sell as well as expressing some to make bath oil and add to the potpourri. As I already said I have not dried to many things before so drying this will be a new experiment as well as making the oil. I will also be making some spearmint extract for cooking.
Next insertion will be planning the vegetables.