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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

The garden is still producing and reaping unexpected benefits

Posted Tuesday, January 5, 2016, at 8:41 AM
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  • Mirah looks just like Earl...

    My garden is still producing from the straw I covered it with...grass again! or sage from the straw has sprouted...

    I'll end up taking it down to dirt again come spring!...My garden policy is no weeds, no grass, no bugs, Yah Know!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Tue, Jan 5, 2016, at 8:40 PM
  • Some of our neighbors in Middle Tennessee have already started their sowing of seeds. One fellow in Beech Grove has over 32 "winter sown" containers out already, with numerous rootings showing roots as well. (These are in his greenhouse)

    I would bet there are a few more starting theirs in Normandy, Shelbyville and maybe even Bell Buckle. :-) Actually, I started beets, spinach and some cabbage a few weeks ago in bath tubs. I may need to give them a little protection in the weeks coming up. I just need to solve my puppy issue.

    Tom in Beech Grove has chosen to get a little more standardized with his containers, rather than use milk jugs or whatever mix of containers saved during the year. He bought inexpensive "nesting" translucent containers that he can clean up and use again for a number of years.

    The mismatched items are probably the cheapest way to go and maybe even the most "earth friendly" because they are being recycled, up-cycled, re-purposed, etc. from the waste stream, but oh, the organization and order than can come from Tom's approach. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jan 7, 2016, at 7:28 AM
  • I went out with the intentions of tilling all beds except the one that is still producing. Testing the wetness, I dug a few places and found the soil to be full of worms and nicely friable.

    Why was I going to till? Decided not to but instead will get some wood chips or manure to spread on top and let it cook.

    I remember that the last time I till I said to myself that I was not going to do it anymore. Well, I guess I should do what I said.

    Now to find a source for manure. The wood chips guys never delivered and I have finally run out after several years. The only drawback is that I have to manually load and unload. Not sure if the old body (literally) will hold up.

    The easiest but most expensive option is to buy straw bales, double bale each garden and let that rot down over the next few months. Anyone know a sale on bales?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jan 7, 2016, at 4:22 PM
  • I didn't know that straw would also leave me with grass...I'm definitely going to strip my patch back down to the dirt and paper it to get ready for my tomatoes and uncover my strawberries which should have a super growing season this year.

    Maters and berries will be it for me this year...not really sure if I'll have the strength for anything else...I seem to be loosing all my strength now! I'm still pushing though...at least until I can't push anymore!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Jan 7, 2016, at 10:19 PM
  • Presuming the straw is oat or wheat. there should not be a lot of grass since they want to harvest as much of the grain as possible. It is also usually easy to pull our. Earl would probably love it. :-)

    Do you have room for a straw bale gardening? No digging, minimal bending, but in our area it needs water and from my experience, I'll want a method to hold the bale together as it rots.

    I believe espoontoon and cherokee2 built something.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jan 8, 2016, at 2:18 PM
  • I'm limited because of campers come Horseshow time...

    I wish I had the room to grow some beans and corn. I'll just concentrate on my strawberry patch this year, hope I get a bumper crop for some "Strawberry Freezer Jam"...Most out there is way too sweet for me and I could bathe in the stuff, "love it", it's so good!

    I'll bring you a quart so you can layer your jam cake! Ha!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Sun, Jan 10, 2016, at 7:49 AM
  • Hmmm, just 'thinking out loud" but what of the gardens were mobile and could be pulled to one spot during the events? I don't have anything specific in mind yet, but I am sure something could be developed.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jan 10, 2016, at 9:23 AM
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