Sunday, May 16, 2010

Double Digging the Garden

Alliums of spring- onions at their best.
One more lilac of this spring.
Bleeding hearts are just neat flowers.
The start of double digging the new garden space.
Compare the pelletized lettuce seed to the regular seed..
Which do you think is easier to plant?
Two seed per/cell for transplanting lettuce.
Seven varieties of lettuce planted in cells for future transplants - I love this system.
My naturalized Jack-in-the-Pulpits.
I still have apple blossoms wanting BEES!!!
This is last years parsley edging that we have this spring before I plant a new edge.
Pulling soil in on the peas.
Mulched and staked with apple water spouts from March tree prunings.

Busy week here in the garden. The pictures show some of what is happening. Along with seeding more lettuce, getting the cucumbers and melons started in peat pots, transplanting peppers and basil, we decide on the new bed lines for the garden and I started to double dig the space. I had thought about renting a sod cutter and stripping off the sod on the new garden space but I really want that organic material in the garden space, so good old fashioned double digging is what I guess I will end up doing. I will just do a little bit at a time until I get all the new space done. Right now I think I can plant this new ground with the melon crop and allow them to vine over this space. Then , maybe, in the fall when I pull the vines I will add peat moss, as much as I can afford, and till that organic material into the garden. That's the beauty of this blog I can think and then change my mind when I realize - wait! that won't work.
The warm weather has prompted me to cut the plastic in the hoop house. The temperature was getting too warm and the spinach crop is bolting so I need to cool the space down and get more moisture onto the plants. Most of the radish crop is done in there, and we are eating radishes from the cold frames, so it's time to plant some more some place else. I got the peas staked today with the water sprouts that I saved when I pruned the apples. The pictures show that I pulled dirt in around the stems along with mulching with grass clippings. All this will help to keep the roots cool - something that peas like.
One of the picture sets this week shows the pelleted lettuce seed that I like to use. This is a great way to plant lettuce, either as transplants or if one was direct seeding into the garden. I did have a problem with some of my seed being damaged by the post office but I made a call to the seed company, and a new shipment will be in the mail. A good company will always stand by their product and shipping ( Thank you Johnny's Select Seeds). I finally received my potatoes this week so as soon as I can get sprouts, I will cut them and plant them out. Next year I will ask for them much earlier as I know of several gardeners who have real nice plants by now - this spring has been good for them too. All the melons and cucumbers this year are in peat pots. The reason: I want to avoid transplant shock and this is supposedly the best way to do that. The plants will go directly into the garden and hopefully they will not even know they have been transplanted. I do all my pole beans this way and they grow really well; so I hope the cubits will also flourish.
The apples are still blooming and I am still waiting for bees! I have no idea what this apple crop will be like this year. I was thinking that maybe the massive apple drop last year was not because of the drought but because apples that are poorly pollinated drop. Well, it will be a "wait and see" for this year. With the warmer weather, I also feel that plum curculio, my first apple pest, might be a noticeable problem on small pre-bagged fruits. Only time will tell on that one too.
Late spring flowers are blooming. The bleeding hearts are lovely this time of year as are the Jack-in-the-pulpits.
Both Susan and I worked plant sales this week. One for Master Gardeners and our garden club, and one for the University of Wisconsin Green Bay. We helped people get plants and share ideas about growing. Both sales were fun to work and as always we enjoy sharing our time and skills for these groups.
Happy Gardening


  1. It was fun meeting you at the NAS Heirloom Plant Sale. We have become so happy with the variety of plants, I have stopped the seed starting exercise that we go through every year.

    We still start the brassica, spinach, and lettuce but space is saved in the garden for the purchases.

    Again. It was a real pleasure to meet and talk to you. Keep up the good work.

  2. Hi WI Gardner,
    Thanks. NAS was a great sale and the proceeds will benefit UWGB students. If you grow lettuce look into the pelletized seed available in some of the seed catalogs - it is a great way to go with lettuce.
    Happy Gardening

  3. I read of your concern for lack of bees and potentially being cause for apple drop last year. We have bee hives on our property for honey extraction, have fully pollinated apple trees and still sustained a huge apple drop last year from our trees. We hope this year will not be a repeat.
    Thank you for this wonderful site. It has become a sort of garden Bible for me. Fantastic photos and instructions that I have been able to incorporate into my garden.

  4. Hi Cheryl,
    Thank you for your interest and comments. With the lack of rain again this early in the season I think I will start to water my trees. I can do this with only three trees and I may start with what water I have in my rain barrels because I think some of the drop last year was because of water issues too.
    Happy Gardening