Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Time to work in the garden

It has been a while since I have worked hard in the garden.  Today the weather was perfect and the moon is in the right place to get my potatoes in, so I had to prepare the soil and cut my seed potatoes so they will be ready to go in tomorrow. It was quite the task to wrestle with the roto-tiller, but I should only need to do this for the potatoes... most of the rest of the garden is in raised beds.

I have been given lots of gardening advice regarding my potatoes.  They require good fertile soil which is not what we have here.  Last year my potatoes did not do well, even after all the work I put in, so this year I tried to gather more information to see if I can get a better yield this year.  I have my cut seed potatoes coated with ashes and are on the deck drying overnight.  They will be ready to go in tomorrow.  After I tilled and then made my furrows, I put some aged manure first then some Azomite which is rock dust (trace minerals) that is supposed to be good for lots of things in the garden.  I also added some Epsom salt and some crushed egg shells.  I then covered that layer with some of the good garden soil that we had brought in last Fall.  Only problem is I think I need to make another row.  After I cut my seed potatoes I determined that two 20 foot rows are not going to be enough.

On the other side of the garden where my raised beds are, I discovered that my asparagus thinks it is spring already.  One of the many shoots that are coming up is well over a foot tall. 
Back after the first cold snap I wanted to raise the level of the soil in my asparagus bed... the nursery lady said that it would be fine to add the soil after I trimmed them back.  I cut the plants all down to the ground, then I added about 4" of soil on top.  My husband added another board around the bed so the soil level is still well below the top of the bed.  I probably need to seek some advice about whether I should leave these new shoots alone, or clip them off.  The trimming was supposed to be after the first frost to ensure they don't try to start new growth too early.  Another frost could damage the new growth.

I have a whole bed of Brussel Sprouts.  We have had a meal of them already, but there are lots getting ready to be harvested.  This also is a first for me.  Never grew Brussel Sprouts before, so I'm not sure if I need to leave the stalk alone until they are all a good size.  I cut the whole stalk to get the first batch, but there were lots of little ones that maybe would have continued to grow.  I may go up there tomorrow and snap off some of the bigger ones and leave the stalk in place.

I am just amazed at how well my winter garden has been.  I have kale and spinach and Swiss chard.  Several heads of cabbage are waiting to be picked.  Broccoli is producing new shoots every day.

Monday, February 2, 2015

February fun

 I had a fun time making some Super Bowl mementos to give to my guests at our Super Bowl party.  These little birdies are pincushions, or just a cute little birdies.  Lots of flag waving going on during the game.  The last few moments of the game were the most exciting.  Good fellowship, and lots of  fun for everyone.

We had a good group at quilting today... there were not many of us, but quantity does not determine quality.  Two ladies finished their pillows today, adding to the two in the back that  I had previously finished as samples.

There are a couple more still in the works, but everyone is moving in a forward direction.

For those who are interested in joining us for the woven mat demo on Monday the 9th, I have the supply list repeated here.

Fabric strips for a 20" by 30" mat:
   2 1/2" strips 16 - 30" long and 24 - 20" long  
   Backing fabric - this fabric will not show when mat is complete
   Non-slip liner 20" x 30"
   Additional 2 1/2" strips for the binding

If you would like additional information about this mat, scroll down to my January 20th post.