Monday, June 6, 2011

More Garden Preparation

Last week still saw night temperatures below freezing, and even a couple of days with snowflakes swirling about. The plants I started inside spend the days out on the deck, and are now more than ready to plant. However, despite what the calendar says, I'm going to hold off a bit longer. Outside, the soil is still too cold for tender plants and warm season seeds.

The cold weather plants are doing fine - although they're growing slowly in the cold winds, they are developing strong healthy roots in the wet soil that will better sustain them when our hot and dry summer finally does arrive. The emergency measures we've had to take to deal with neighboring wildlife - surrounding the garden with a high deer-proof fence and covering the chicken pen - has allowed my plants to grow without as much animal damage. I might even get to harvest some peas - since the guineas won't be flying in to eat the blossoms!

Yesterday, I found the time to get out there to prepare a third 50' garden bed. Since this one is going to hold "roots" crops this year, I wanted to make sure the soil was deep and loose, tossing any rocks I found. These three lower beds had been reconfigured last season, so it didn't take me too long to turn the damp sandy soil, and then work it into a 3' wide level planting terrace across the slope.

I had just enough time to get it all raked out smooth and level when the first raindrops started. I rushed to get laundry off the line and tools put away. Everything got a good soaking through the night - we went to sleep to the sound of raindrops on the windows, and even the occasional rumble of thunder.


tymxgrl said...

Sadge, I want to plant a different kind of pepper this year. any suggestions?

Sadge said...

You didn't say what kind of climate you have, or what kind of peppers you like, but here goes:

I like hot peppers. The most useful for us are the roast-n-peel type - sometimes called California or New Mexico chiles. Those I freeze, or dry. Jalapenos mostly end up either frozen whole or smoke-dried into chipotles. Sweet bells not used fresh are diced and frozen. Plus 1 habanero plant for bottled sauce.

I'm growing Poblano chiles this year - both to use fresh (roasted, peeled, stuffed, and baked), or dried (then called Ancho). Other years, I'll grow Paprika, Italian frying peppers, cayenne, Chinese Paper Dragon, and different colors of bells.

I've never grown the little sweet peppers, like baby bells or cherry peppers, but always love eating them when I see them on a veggie platter.