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Winter gardening October 21, 2008

Posted by liajo in Greenhouse Gardening.
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Last weekend we tightened up the greenhouse for winter and I cleared out all the old pepper plants and composted.  This will be the first winter that I actually try planting in the greenhouse.  I have cold weather seeds like carrots, spinach, lettuce and peas and I hope to get them planted in the next week or two.

There are a few things that I haven’t quit worked out yet.  One of them is watering.  I may need to carry it from the house because our out side hoses and faucets can freeze up.  Next is snow.  As excited I am about year round gardening, I not real excited about tramping through the snow to get there.

I also need to make sure it’s not getting to cold.  Besides the tightening I’ll mulch around the entire outside bottom  to keep some of the cold air out.  I’ve also read that if I compost in the greenhouse it will help keep the temperature up.  I put my meat thermometer in the ground today, I’ll check it in the morning to see how cold it is about 7am.

While I don’t believe winter gardening is going to easy I am looking forward to eating a fresh spinach salad that came out of my backyard in Colorado in December.  To cool.

Don’t till the dirt!!! September 30, 2008

Posted by liajo in How to tips.
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I was web surfing last night looking for some advice on potato growing.  I ran across a great site with lots of useful information about potatoes and other vegetables and fruits.  I decided to look around the site a little more and clicked on an article about “how to start a garden.”  In the first paragraph the new gardener was told to till the earth as deep as they could.  I wanted to scream. 

When will well meaning gardeners stop giving such advice??  You should never till the earth.  There is an entire micro ecosystem under there that we can’t even see, but whose homes we are destroying.  These little critters are vital to the health of any garden. 

The easiest and quickest way to a new garden is to lay bags of potting mix on the ground open holes in them and plant directly in them.  Check this out on www.MotherEarthNews.com.  If you want a “traditional” garden then very lightly hand till the earth to a very shallow depth.  Next layer on a three to four inches of good composted soil and plant.  Never and I mean never till the earth as deep as you can.