We’re running a little late this year on selecting vegetable seeds and getting them ordered; but now that I’ve created our annual seed starting and planting schedule (see below), I can keep us on track. It helps me keep focused on buying seeds, starting transplants, getting supplies, and making sure the garden beds are prepared on time.
I start with my schedule from the previous year (see Making 2011′s Seed Starting & Planting Schedule), copy it to a new spreadsheet tab, consult my notes from last year’s garden, and then work up the new plan. I’ve included a downloadable template (2012 Seed Starting & [...]
Continue reading Making 2012′s Seed Starting & Planting Schedule (w/downloadable template)
Giant Yellow Eckendorf
This year, we’re adding a new vegetable mainstay to the garden – not for us, but for the chickens. Mangel beets used to be grown extensively as a livestock feed on small farms; however, usage dwindled in the US as large farms became the norm. Today, it’s being rediscovered on small farmsteads as a great feed for livestock, particularly chickens.
The beets are highly nutritious and have been cultivated as livestock feed for over 1000 years. They’re very easy to produce, grow to immense sizes (10 – 20 lbs.), and store well; making them a good stand-in for fresh [...]
Continue reading Growing Mangel Beets for Chickens
Right now, it’s very important to focus energy on cleaning up the vegetable garden. I wish that all my cleanup chores were done; but I’m still working on it because I know a few hours of work now will make a huge difference in next year’s garden.
It’s most important to remove and destroy (not compost) all the remains from this year’s vegetable plants because many vegetable pests survive from year to year on old plant debris. This will help prevent insect and disease problems from starting next spring and summer.
After getting all the plant debris removed from the garden, I like to get a good layer of leaves [...]
Continue reading Fall Garden Cleanup