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Old 24-01-2017, 04:41 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Posts: 682
Default 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. G

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.

Old 24-01-2017, 07:30 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
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Posts: 2,333
Default Spring garden

George Shirley wrote:
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.

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

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


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