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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Seed swap this Saturday! January flew by.

Posted Tuesday, January 26, 2016, at 11:49 AM
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  • For those who may not know, winter sowing is a method to get seeds started now, outside and acclimated for the new season.

    It is kind of like what nature does for seeds that sprout unexpectedly in your garden, but this is planned and controlled.

    We can discuss more here or google "winter sowing".

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Jan 26, 2016, at 11:49 AM
  • Aah, the sunlight looks so great and feels pretty good through the glass, but still a little chilly with the breeze.

    None-the-less, I was outside today envisioning the changes for this year's gardens. I gave away most of my seeds at our last Weed'em & Reap meeting, so if I go to the swap on Saturday, it will be empty handed.

    AND, I have procrastinated in placing my new seed order. Really, really need to get it in today. I am interested in trying a number of new heirlooms and you can't find them on local seed racks.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jan 27, 2016, at 11:42 AM
  • I've gotten a lot of seed catalogs already this year...I think they caught on too me Ha!....

    I'll share though!...wish I had the strength to go to the swap, I've as yet to be at one! Maybe soon!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Jan 27, 2016, at 6:56 PM
  • I'm going early for an hour. Hope to see you there!

    -- Posted by espoontoon on Fri, Jan 29, 2016, at 6:17 AM
  • Ooooooh espoontoon, you left too soon. A young lady came in with hundreds of seed packets from Baker Creek and Seed Saver Exchange! You would think she was a representative but she said seeds are her vice.

    I was talking with some gardeners across the room when familiar looking seed packet showed up on the table. I was almost rude with the speed I ended the conversation to check it out.

    Then the packets kept coming and coming and it was like Christmas morning and a bunch of kids. Yikes!

    I had to leave many bags untouched but still came away with about 60 varieties of root veggies (5), squash (15), melons, greens, edible gourds (4), eggplant (8), parsnips, rutabagas, peas, turnips, okra (4), herbs, and even asparagus.

    She probably had 15-20 lettuces and she did not like lettuce so I asked why so much and even things she did not like. Apparently she buys for her whole family and the seed companies add extra bonuses. Her seed bill was over $1,000. Yowza!!!!!

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jan 31, 2016, at 6:57 PM
  • Now I have to develop more garden space and I just told my wife this fall that I was cutting back.

    I sat outside during lunch trying to envision some new gardens in the yard and how I am going to do it. They will probably be a combination of a cardboard weed barrier that will eventually rot, then top it with some sort of mulch or horse manure?

    My experiment with straw bales was OK last year, but it needs to be fine-tuned for me. Water is one big consideration and even though I do not have neighbors to complain, I need to find a way to make things look a little tidier.

    I have some perfect places but they are right up next to the house and while not a lot is said about straw and termites, it does occur so I am undecided. Maybe the bales will not be there long enough to attract termites? Does anyone have any experience with that?

    I may use the tiller to "dig" trenches to put wood into, cover them with soil, then straw. It is a form of "lasagna gardening" or also called hugelkultur. (Google it)

    If I do it now, they should be able to support some of the things I have just acquired by April or May. The logs will rot slowly and hold moisture.

    I would try to start the seeds inside the greenhouse but these new puppies can get into just about anything I section off, so it looks like a form of "winter sowing" will become a necessity.

    That will mean my tubs, a cold frame that I am refurbishing and about 10 tires, used as mini cold-frames. I'll place the tires in the garden so that after the plants have grown to a reasonable size, I will remove the tires instead of transplanting them and start new things with them, in a new section of garden.

    There are so many ideas floating around right now, I hope this makes sense in the "light of day".

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jan 31, 2016, at 7:20 PM
  • I priced straw bales yesterday. With a small exception (maybe 10) I won't be going that way. $4.50 per bale?

    So I called a neighbor farmer to see if he knew someone with spoiled square bales. I'm willing to pay something to help defray their loss, but he did not know anyone since most square bales are put up under cover and get spoiled much less frequently.

    Next thing I know, he shows up with two round bales and spreads the first one by unrolling it where I plan to expand. Beautiful!

    He reinforced what I have always felt about this community and how neighbors help when in need. All I have done for him is call when his cattle get out each Spring and be understanding when they refine their escape artist skills. Not much, but.....

    It just spawned an idea about paying it forward. Maybe instead of going to dinner every other week for our second garden club meeting, we can go to someone's home to help them with their garden.

    The first ones will be those who are not physically able to get the garden ready for planting. Then we might go to someone's house to give them ideas or solutions to their gardening challenges.

    Hmmmm, I like it more and more. Maybe time to do a separate post and bring it to the Facebook group for further discussion.

    BUT FIRST, I need to go feed the menagerie.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Feb 2, 2016, at 7:07 AM
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