Spring garden

We're looking through the seed catalogs and also going through our
collection of seeds kept in the refrigerator.
There's not going to be anymore black crowder peas, the seed we got last
year gave us peas that were very gritty for some reason plus we have a
LOT of canned and frozen crowder peas on hand. Also have a lot of canned
green beans so are looking for something different. I'm sort of thinking
about lima beans as they are a favorite here. I'm a bit torn as bagged
lima beans are actually very cheap so why grow my own when they all
taste the same.
Thought about corn, then remembered that the one time we put in corn on
this garden, nothing happened. No tassels, no corn on the cob, just lots
of stalk, good for composting but not for eating. Never did figure out
why the tassels didn't get fertilized. We had a bumper crop of beets
this past season, same with carrots, kale, and various other fall/winter
I'm going to order a bag of earthworms too, no more red wigglers. We
found exactly one large earthworm poking around in the raised beds so I
think we will put some more in to help.
We're talking about pulling the three blueberry bushes in the raised bed
along the fence line. They bloomed the first year but made no berries,
then haven't bloomed since. I think it's because they're in to much
shade. Now thinking that I will put in a batch of domestic dewberries, a
local garden center has those in stock and dewberry plants love the
shade plus are very tasty and make good cobblers, jellies and jams.
We've had some good rains this fall and winter and the weather folk say
there is more to come. Might save a buck or two on the water this year.
I need to prune the pear tree as it is dropping its leaves now, won't be
long before the new leaves appear and I want to prune just before that
starts. Probably do it tomorrow if I have good weather. I went out
yesterday and tied little pieces of cloth on the "rain" limbs so I get
the right ones out. I will then chop them into smaller pieces and put
them in my smoking wood container for later use. Fruit woods are very
good for smoking meat and saves on having to buy mesquite and hickory.
Reply to
George Shirley
if i recall correctly your raised beds are mostly organic materials and some inert filler? if that is true then earthworms will find it very inhospitable. i would not be surprised if most of them die or migrate away from the raised beds.
my own experience in transplanting a mix of worm species is that the closer the garden soil is to the soil they were raised in the more likely they will survive. that is why each time i take worms out to the garden i bring back some garden soil for the next generations.
i use a mix of worm species (from four to six kinds) and with our poor soils it takes several years of amending (both worms and organic materials) to get a good population of all types to remain.
other considerations are that smaller raised beds tend to have wider extremes of temperature and moisture - earthworms don't like it too hot or too dry. the smaller raised beds i've been able to combine with others have done much better in comparison.
i have two thirds of a larger garden to amend with worms this season. last year when i was digging in there the earthworm census was two. the undisturbed other third probably has some worms in it but i didn't disturb that area much last year. i'll do a spot census this spring when i start the gardening season.
the stark contrast between what happens in a worm bin here in my room vs. what happens out in a garden is very interesting. these bins can support 2-20 thousand worms each (one to two cu ft of soil, compost and worm food). outside there is a lot of predation and less than optimal conditions.
on the whole though, every garden space i've worked on here has gone from very poor soil to gradually improved and in a few gardens now the soil is very nearly perfect for veggies. every year as i plant out i take note of how a garden is doing and how many bins of worms i will put into it and whatever else it might need. when i have such a large number of gardens i don't have enough worms to amend each of them every season.
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