Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bedding Down The Strawberry Beds

Our strawberries did not do so well this year. Looking back and thinking about it some I think we had several factor leading to this:

1) unfavorable weather - It was cool, wet, and most definitely unsunny.
2) potassium - Our soil in the beds developed a potassium deficiency. I can solve this with bone meal, but if someone can think of another organic solution I would love to hear it.
3) plant age - I think we bought plants a year older than normal. This means they produced early but may be nearing the end of their productive time.
4) failure to properly perform winter care - we did not properly close the beds last year.

This year we properly closed the beds. I cut all the old foliage back. Covered up with straw, held that down with some sticks, etc, for weight, put some slug repellent down.

This spring I will be putting some fresh compost down, some potassium supplement of some sort, maybe a few fresh plants, particularly on the underused bed, and hope for some more affable weather.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

First Seed Catalog! - Seed Savers Exchange

Its here! My first seed catalog of the year! (or, as my wife informed me - "Honey, your garden porn has arrived!")

I love seed catalogs. They help me get through the winter. Seriously. The magnificent pictures, the tantalizing descriptions, the titillating promises! Did I mention my wife says this is garden porn?

I get to dream and plan all winter. I get to overplan every inch of garden. And to get this one first...

I love SSE (Seed Savers Exchange). Its a non-profit with the mission of preserving heirloom seeds and heritage breeds. Of keeping and encouraging the once declining (on the upswing now?) art of saving seed. The variety and quality is unparalleled.

I get 99% of my seed from three sources. I may change that over time, and these are not endorsements, but at they are:

1) Seed Savers Exchange - All of the above. And more, they have great service.

2) Freedom Seeds - The Dervaes family, or Path to Freedom fame, has just gotten started in the seed business, but the items I got from them last year were top notch. And the service has been the BEST.

3) Burpee - These are the seeds I remember from my childhood. I think thats why I still order them, its a sense of nostalgia. They have great service, but they are not as environmentally progressive as the others, but I think they will come around with time.

Well, back to the SSE catalog. Its well organized, but really almost organized as a good read, not just a quick tool to order from. I like that. I like the profiles and history and stories inside. Love it!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Alright. I started playing Farmville. I got a Facebook account for the sole reason of doing so.

Several Points:

1) it is addictive

2) it is fun

3) it requires patience

4) it has many shortcomings. So many that its frustrating and has me wondering how hard it would be to design a game like it myself.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Funky Compost Plan

I have decided to go ahead and try a little different method this year for composting. I haven't managed to get my compost pile really going, so I have added grass and leaves to each of the beds and some rock dust for some remineralization. Here in the next week or so I will till it all in.

I am not really sure how this is going to work out. I added some compost accelerator (not even sure to know if that is working or not), but I am hoping that it breaks down and actually composts in situ.