The Lazy Gardener, 2020 edition

Prairie Rose

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Just wanted to start a garden thread of my own, so I quit hijacking others threads. Also a good way to be accountable in how often I get out there and work!

My lawn and garden goals this year:

1) Fence in the side yard for the dog. If money allows, fence in the front side yard for him as well.
2) Cardboard, mulch, and edge a flowerbed around the perimeter of my house. No gutters=excellent place to plant water hungry plants. I think. Planting will happen next year, for the most part.
3) New porches! I need three. This is way too ambitious financially, but I'm sticking it in here as something to strive for.
4) Actually finish a batch of compost
5) Make the dog a mud-free area to lounge in. He's worn all the grass off his favorite spots, and is coming in a giant mudball. Daily. I keep throwing straw out there, then raking it to the field when it gets soiled and replacing it, but I need a longer term solution. He's got to have a place in his outside area where he can get up out of the mud.
6) I want to expand the vegetable beds. My four by four squares are awesome, but not big enough. I have four, I want at least 8 more by fall, or to go back to growing in the ground instead of raised beds. Food is getting more expensive here, and I want to be able to grow yearly supplies of some things, and that's not happening with my current setup.
7) Flowers. I am not getting bees again until after I talk to my doctor about allergy treatments for the stings, but I do want to start planting more flowers to attract and feed the local pollinators. I used to have a lot of them, now I have nearly none.
8) My two roses need trellises. I also want to plant one new variety.
9) I would like to start an espalier fruit tree in the bed I put in at the south end of my house fall 2019. It gets great sun, and is sheltered from the worst of the winter winds.
10) I want to clean out the old dog kennel on the east side of the barn and turn my black raspberry bramble into an actual garden patch.
11) A fence around the vegetable beds, or something to protect the seedlings from the deer.
12) Trying to grow potatoes in grow-bags, and sweet corn.
13) Get ahead of the bindweed.
14) More stuff than I can actually list, but want to do!

My biggest goal is just getting out there and doing more. By the time I get home at night I am so tired and sore I usually tell myself I will garden tomorrow and everything gets away from me. I learned some shortcuts last year (drip irrigation, black plastic mulch, etc) that help keep the plants alive while I'm too sore to move. I want to expand on that and be able to do more this year. Also the family friend who mows the grass (Mom and I are both allergic to cut grass) is not going to be able to mow this year for health reasons, so I want to start taking out grass. I absolutely hate mowing; it takes too long and I have never been able to just zen out on the lawnmower, and I am itchy for days afterwards.
 

Prairie Rose

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The last of my seed order came in this week, and my first round of seedlings sprouted!

I have starts of chives, marjoram, sage, and globe basil. Waiting on greek oregano, zaatar, and some old rhubarb seeds. I have bad luck with herbs direct-sown from seeds, the birds get to them before they can sprout! I also don't mind up-potting a few things as needed. A few more days for the babies to get a little bit bigger, then they will graduate to sitting next to the heat mat instead of on it, and I will start the next round this weekend!

I'm thinking the next round will include thyme and parsley at the very least, and maybe some onions and leeks.

Even though it's the middle of february and the weather is about to turn for the worst again (-8 thursday night!), it is hard to believe the last frost date is only 9 weeks away! Some things I can put out earlier than that, but I am a fair weather gardener, and the last average frost is when the garden season starts full force for me.
 

Collector

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Looks like you have a pretty ambitious to do list. Better to have more than you can get done than not enough to keep you moving. Post progress updates and pics of course.
 

baymule

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It's always good to have a list of goals. I veer off into the Great Unknown, then it's fun to go back to the list and see what I actually did get done. It also helps to add to the list, what I did when I veered off course. lol
 

Prairie Rose

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Today I started tomatoes, alpine strawberries, thyme, and yarrow. Everything but the ancient rhubarb seeds and the white sage in the previous batch has sprouted and is doing well...my next tray will be peppers and kale.

I am running out of room on my starting shelf...I need a unit for my houseplants, and a second unit for starting seeds for the garden. I also think that unit needs stronger grow lights, some of the houseplants are getting spindly.
 

Prairie Rose

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Today I went out and made another raised bed!

The retaining wall on the 110 year old root cellar collapsed in a storm last week, and it was made of cinder blocks. I took all of them I could safely retrieve and made a bed, roughly 4 by 6. Lined it with cardboard, tossed in some pieces of rotting tree stump and a bunch of sticks to make an attempt at a hugelkulture bed. I have a small pile of leaves to add when it is not windy enough to blow them away. Going to steal a few buckets of manure and shavings from a friend with horses to go on top of the sticks, then cover it with a thick layer of straw, a layer of soil to plant in, and mulch on top of those. Given the manure will be fresh, this year I will probably just plant flowers in it.

I haven't started any more seeds yet, but soon! My tomatoes have their first set of true leaves now, so they can sit next to the heat mat instead of on it, and I can get my peppers started.

I placed an order for grow bags to grow potatoes in this year; I couldn't resist picking up a bag of kennebec from the local farm and home to plant. A bag of potatoes was a much safer impulse buy than the chicks I was looking at!
 

Prairie Rose

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Some pictures, just for practice:

20200301_080737.jpg

The storm cellar the blocks came from

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My raised vegetable bed...and the last of the snow. I took these pictures on sunday.

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The most robust of the tomato seedlings... a small variety called minibel that is new to me this year

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And an amaryllis that I bought on clearance from burpee...it should be pink!
 

baymule

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Raised beds are nice, the cinder blocks will make you a great raised bed. Some of the biggest potatoes I ever grew were in a pile of leaves and horse manure. I mixed lime with it and watered it good. Then I planted the potatoes.
 

digitS'

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Your cellar right beside the road reminds me of one on a little country road I used to drive by. It looked like someone put it there for access for a load of potatoes or something to take to the market.

When I moved to the country many years ago, it was to a clearing in the forest, beside a farm field. There was a home about 500 yards away, also in the trees. Another house was about 3/4 of a mile in the other direction. That was it - for miles in any other direction.

There was nothing there for me except the clearing and my first task as I saw it was to dig a root cellar and put a wood shed over it so that I would have a place to sleep. The planned barn and cabin came later.

So, I'm out there with with the pickup parked, me with a shovel, digging a hole. ... two girls show up, looking for a horse ..!

I thought later that it really took some nerve for those teenagers to approach a guy out digging a hole in the middle of nowhere. They were neighbors and told me a year or so later that they had to hang back in the trees awhile before they built up the nerve to walk over and ask me :).

I met one of their fathers soon after. A nice guy, worked from home as an artist. He did illustrations for books. "Where's Waldo?" books.

Steve
 
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