Monthly Archives: January 2015

WINTER GARDEN FUN – Harvest,Prep and Planning

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Now that Christmas has come and gone the new year is a week or 2 old, we can relax and look forward to spring and the GARDEN.

Then the mail comes and in the place of Christmas cards and sale flyers….seed catalogs. My favorite is Johnny Selected Seeds…so much great stuff. http://www.johnnyseeds.com/

OK so what activities can we do in the garden when te freezing weather, ice and snow are around?

First question: Do we have anything growing over the winter?

Greens, roots, anything “stored” in the soil”

Did I properly clear/clean the garden in the fall?

Second question: What am I planting this year? Anything new? Where did I plant everything last season? [important for crop rotation] When can I plant? Start seedlings?

Third Question? : What work is necessary to prepare the garden for the season? Long term planning= helpful this yer but payoff will be realized over several years.

The following posts and articles address some of these ideas:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/preparing-your-vegetable-garden-for-winter.aspx#axzz3P1HRlkJu

http://www.farmaid.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=qlI5IhNVJsE&b=6281749&ct=12490387

Info from another good seed catalog…http://www.territorialseed.com/category/fall_Winter_seed

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/starting-seeds-indoors-zm0z12djzsor.aspx#axzz3P1HRlkJu

Enjoy and happy gardening !!

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“Hiring” Helpers for the Garden..Less than $100 a year

I have been a fan of worms in the garden and  as part of my gardening team.

Worms ( red wigglers -Eisenia foetida ) are a great resource for Vermicompopsting or Worm Composting. The worms compost the food scraps , leaves, grass and orther compostables and create a “delicious” and powerful garden fuel. The castings are essentially worm manure and this manure is great with seeds or plants, brwed into a compost tea or use to top dress potted plants.

A pound of red wiggler works can be ordered for an estimated $22-40 depending on the source and location. A bin to keep the worms and their castings can be purchased or made-the investment here can be $5-100.

If you choose not to hire the worms you can buy the worm castings from several sources.

http://www.planetnatural.com/composting-101/vermicomposting/

http://www.planetnatural.com/product/red-wiggler-worms/

The other employees to “hire” are known as beneficial insects- These are “bugs” that will prey upon the pests in your garden. And can be purchased , or caught and relocated in your garden or lured into the neighborhood. I will focus ona few favorites and buying them.

Some Helper Insect information:    http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/top-10-beneficial-bugs-garden

http://www.arbico-organics.com/category/beneficial-insects-predators-parasites

In addition to worms the insects I have worked with are ladybugs ( ladybeetles) , praying mantis and green lacewings.  They are helpful in the garden and they are attractive. Since I continually encounter them as I plant , weed and harvest – it is fun to know they are there-helpimng- and they are nice to look at.

http://www.arbico-organics.com/product/ladybird-beetle-ladybugs-hippodamia-convergens

http://www.arbico-organics.com/category/Green-Lacewings-chrysoperla-beneficial-insects

http://www.groworganic.com/praying-mantids-case-of-approx-200-eggs.html

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