Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
- It gets nutrients to your plants quickly
- It increases plant growth
- Replaces toxic garden chemicals
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Still have questions? Email me.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
By Uncle Dale
We have been buying eggs since we culled our last layer flock a couple of months ago. I will celebrate our freedom from store bought eggs tonight with an egg omelet made from these fresh eggs.
By Uncle Dale
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
In my previous articles I talked about the Row Gardening and Square Foot gardening methods. In this article I will discuss another method which seems to be a mixture of the two called Wide Row Gardening. This is a method we haven't used before so the information I will give you is from research and not from experience. I think we are going to do some row gardening and wide row gardening in our garden this year.
Wide Row gardening is similar to traditional row gardening in that you use rows, however the rows are wider than traditional rows. Instead of one row you might add 3 rows together to make a wider row that is 2 to 4 feet wide. The picture to the right from the Colorado State University Extension website is a good example of what wide rows looks like. The rows are about 2 to 4 feet wide and they are raised and filled with beautiful composted soil. Seeds are then scattered throughout the row and then thinned once they start growing.
Advantages of Wide Row Gardening
- Wide row gardening has less unused space than traditional rows because of the so it has better yields than row planting.
- Harvesting is easier as you can collect more produce from a single point.
- You never have to walk on the soil so it damages soil and it's consistency less than other methods.
- Plants are planted closer together so they shade the ground and it retains moisture better.
- Since plants are closer, it is harder for weeds to grow so less weeding is needed.
- Wide rows are usually raised which allows gardeners to control what is in the soil better. This allows people with soil that doesn't drain, or drains to much to change it's composition easier.
- Because plants are closer together than in traditional rows, they will yield less per plant.
- Since there are more plants in a smaller space, the plants use up more nutrients and it is a little harder on your soil.
- The rows are wider so it can be harder to work compost into your soil at it is harder to reach the middle of the row.
- Some gardeners argue that wide row planting requires more watering. This can be negated by adding compost over the years and using a drip system in the bed.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Saturday was a great day, a day that was long overdue. You see, our adorable little chicks became quite large very quickly. They were living in our basement and needed a permanent home outside. We purchased a used coop from the neighbors and were going to move it over to our house a week ago, but it didn't work out. I was distraught, as much as I love the chickens, I didn't want them in the house any longer. Saturday, we made it happen, we moved the coop.
Monday, March 21, 2011
|Veronica, Amber, Marisa, Nora|
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
I have 11 chickens, 5 Reds and 6 black bantams. They have begun to pick feathers out of each other. I saw one doing it, and some are really bad around the tail area and on the upper back. I have tried everything. They have access to an outer run and have a 12x10 coop. I don't know what to do.
If you have any advice for this reader, leave a comment!
In my previous article I discussed single row gardening and discussed the pros and cons of the method. This article will do the same for square foot gardening.
We have talked about square foot gardening in past articles by Jennifer and Megan. Marisa and I used the square foot gardening method for part of our garden on our last property. We liked it a lot and had a lot of success with it.
It seems to me that square foot gardening is the cool kid of the gardening methods. If he and single row gardening were in the lunchroom together, you would see him in a leather jacket with sunglasses surrounded by cheerleaders while single row sat in the corner doing his science homework. Right now, square foot gardening is just sexy.
Square foot gardening was made popular by Mel Bartholomew. A square foot garden is a raised bed method in which a small square area is used for a garden. The square is broken into a grid with plants planted in each grid. It is recommended that you plant different plants within each grid so you get a variety of produce in one plot.
Advantages of Square Foot Gardening
- Square foot gardening will normally give you a better yield for the area you are using. This makes it better for those with limited space.
- Weeds are easier to control since plants are compact and close together. Weeds get crowded out.
- Raised bed method means it is easier to access plants for those that have problems bending over or kneeling down.
- Compact areas with lots of plants tend to keep moisture in the soil better so water is used efficiently.
- The recommended soil mix that is suggested is very expensive. We did 3 4x4 boxes last year and it cost about $100 to fill them with Mel Bartholomew's recommended mix.
- If you live in a windy area, large plants like corn and tomatoes will blow over easily even when staked (based on our personal experience). Megan had the same problem as us.
- Since plants are so close together, there can be less air circulation which can cause issues with mildew or disease that you might not have from other planting methods.
What are some of the pros and cons that I missed about square foot gardening? Share them with us in the comments to educate us on your experiences.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Many of you might know that we recently purchased our property and so we are beginning the process of starting a new garden in our backyard. We wanted to share the process of starting a garden with all of you. Our hope is that it might help some of you that don't have a lot of experience with gardening. Our other hope is that those of you that are experts can give us some tips and guidance.
We have already chosen and ordered our seeds. If you have not it isn't too late to order online, or even go to your local nursery to get seeds. If you are starting a new garden like us, the next step after ordering seeds is to determine what type of garden you want to do. Over the next few days we will discuss some of the more popular gardening methods.
Traditional Row Gardening
This is the type of gardening I grew up on. My dad was a potato farmer so gardening in rows made a lot of sense . Row gardening is still very popular. In row gardening you make a row or small hill in your garden and you plant your vegetables in a line. You can walk down the areas between the rows to access your gardens. This method is more popular for those gardeners that have larger plots of land. This is one of the reasons it worked better for my dad because we had a lot of land to use. I have seen and had a lot of success using row gardens.
Advantages of Row Gardening
- Row gardens are good for those that can flood irrigate. As you flood, water will be taken naturally down the lower areas between the rows and water you whole garden well.
- Row gardens look neat and nice. I think they are very visually appealing. Maybe that is because I grew up looking at rows and rows of potatoes.
- Row gardening makes it easier to weed in some cases as plants are spaced in a uniform manner. The weeds are also easy to reach or hoe since you can hoe around each plant.
- Row planting does not require purchasing extra materials for building boxes or barriers like other methods.
- Row gardening takes up a lot of space and thus it is usually less efficient than other methods that we will discuss. Many backyard farmers don't have space to row garden.
- Row gardening does not use water as efficiently as other methods because the plants are spread out more and moisture can escape the soil easier.
If you have gardened using single rows, share with us what you liked or didn't like about it.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
I let that simmer for 2 hours and the last 10 minutes I threw in a handful of macaroni.