Today turned out to be an overcast day and a perfect one to work in the garden. I had been putting off getting a fall and winter vegetable garden in. I knew what I wanted to plant but harvesting in the kitchen garden has kept me busy. It was time to tackle the compost boxes as I knew I needed to refresh the soil in the raised bed by the greenhouse. Now I haven’t had the best of luck in these beds at this time of year. As the days shorten the sun tends to go behind my neighbours home. Today I decided to start some root crops. I harvested all the potatoes in this bed yesterday so I won’t be planting those again. I am a real stickler of proper crop rotation. Today I am planting seeds that I haven’t grown in this bed. There is an existing rosemary and thyme plant that will stay in here for ease of harvesting.
With help from Farmer Jim we got some compost out of the bottom of the compost bins. I spread it around the bed. It has a few bits and pieces that haven’t quite broken down but I am not worried. They will break down pretty quick in this garden. I removed any twigs that were in the soil and returned them to the compost.
It was nice to get the compost emptied a bit. With the end of the summer crops approaching I need room to add the vegetation to the compost. What I hadn’t remembered to do was water the compost. With our lack of rainfall we need to remember to water the compost and give it a stir to incorporate air into the pile.
After spreading the compost and digging it in a bit I added some glacial rock dust and organic fertilizer to the soil. I love this product and have used it for a couple of years. If you have followed my kitchen garden progress you will know that it looks like it’s on steroids. Seriously, I am not the best at growing vegetables but I think the combination of good soil and fertilizer is why the kitchen garden is doing so well. It will be interesting to see the difference between this garden and the kitchen garden. The kitchen garden is in full sun all day and that makes a huge difference.
I am not one to actually measure fertilizer. I sprinkle it generously over the soil.
Then I used a fork and trowel to mix the fertilizer and rock dust in well. I watered the bed being sure to throughly moisten the soil. It was so dry. Now its time to plant!
I love Napoli carrots and it says they take 55 days until harvest. There is lots of information on a seed package. That’s about eight weeks so on October 15 I should have a harvest. That’s well before our first frost date so they should do well. I am hoping to leave the carrots in the ground and use them as we need them. With our warm winters it’s getting harder to store surplus harvest in the garage. Yes, a root cellar would be great if our water table wasn’t so high.
I found my easy seeder for the carrot seed. I used this when I work with kids planting seeds. It allows for one to four seeds to be planted depending on how it is set. For carrots I want one seed at a time. A tap on the top has a seed pop out the hole and down the chute to the soil. I find I don’t waste carrots seeds if I use it. With carrot seeds being so tiny, its easy to plant too many at once.
So what did I plant today? I planted ‘Tom Thumb’ peas, ‘Napoli’ carrots, ‘Detroit Red’ beets and ‘Laurentian’ turnips. I love making homemade soup in the winter so I should call this the soup garden.
One last step was to place a floating row cover over the bed. Its to keep the four-legged creatures out and prevent this newly planted garden from becoming a litter box. As the plants grow I will use a larger piece of fabric so it allows the fabric to rise with the plants. The fabric is permeable and lets water through. It comes in different weights so it can be used to extend the season by keeping the soil warm. Now its watch and wait for the seeds to germinate. With our warm days it won’t be long.