Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Our First Day of Planting in the Garden Plot & Square Foot Garden Box

Yesterday, we prepared our garden plot as I discussed in my post A Day of Grading and Tilling.  It was a lot of work but we were very happy with the final result.  There is still work to do, but one square patch was ready for planting.

Early this morning, we walked to the garden plot along the road.  It is a beautiful walk, as you see below. The plot is on the left, where you see the dark ground.  On the right of the road is a small creek, the significance of which you will learn about shortly.

These are purple potatoes we got at the Farmers Market a couple weeks ago.  We kept them in a cool place until ready for planting, and were careful not to damage the sprouts.  In preparation for planting today, we cut them, ensuring we had at least 1 good sprout on each piece, and let them dry overnight.  Aren't they beautiful?  I can't wait to eat what grows:)

This potato area is on the far right corner. Approximately 10x10, because we want to plant each potato piece 12" away from each other and we have about 10 pieces.

Johny makes the hole, about 1" deep.

Put the potato in the hole; if you look very carefully,
you can see the sprout on the lower right side of the potato. 

While Johny finished the potato planting, I went back to the square foot garden box near our cabin to plant our red radish, purple radish, and green onion seeds.  Because the soil is so thick and rich, I cut some straw to mix into the soil in an effort to aerate it and lighten it up a bit.  Hopefully it will work.

This is a red radish seed...

...and this is my visual reminder of what planted, the red radish is to the right of the purple.   

I will also be planting snow peas in the remaining space in the planter, but they have to soak overnight before planting. 

I then went back to the garden plot to see how Johny did, and he was finished.  Potatoes are supposed to grow well when planted loosely in the top of the soil and covered with a lot of straw to keep them in the dark, and the new potatoes like to grow in a loose medium, while the root needs the soil.  When we start to see the potato leaves emerging from the straw, we will put more straw and maybe even soil.  If the sun gets to the new potatoes, it will turn them green, and you can't eat a green potato.  The sticks are there to remind us where the potatoes are.

I know you want to ask, "gosh Lise, how will you water all these vegetables in your garden plot?"  Well, I am so glad you asked.  Remember I mentioned that on the right side of the road, across from the plot is a creek?  Well here it is. Johny made a little cascade to better capture the water.

I am standing at the little cascade looking at the garden.  You can see the straw where the potatoes are (again, if you look closely). I must confess that we are using our neighbor's Ron & Bertie's creek water, which does eventually run into our creek, so I thank them for sharing it for the time being!  They are great neighbors, and I will tell you more about them another time.  Good people!

Filling the bucket.

Watering the potatoes. Carefully.  You don't want a strong stream of water making gully's in the soil.

Yes, yes, I know that this will require many trips to and from the creek.  This is a temporary solution.  Diagonally behind Johny, about 150 feet into our property, is our creek.  We plan on building some sort of water transport, something like a viaduct.  We'll see how that works out.  In the meantime, we have to carry the water. 

And then late this afternoon we had a huge thunderstorm, pouring rain, a little hail...woah is me.  I do hope that everything we planted today will be fine.  I feel confident the potatoes will survive, but those teeny tiny seeds have not had the chance to find their place in the soil, so I hope they are simply getting a very good soaking and not getting washed away.  I know the can be replanted, so all is not lost!  I do love a good rain storm, so I shall just be happy in that and see how things turn up, pun intended:) You can see the two square foot boxes in the lower portion of the picture, the furthest two wooden things you see.  The pieces closer to you are the timber for building.

There you have it my blog friends, our first planting.  Oh, and more seeds are sprouting!  We have one new tomato sprout today, makes me happy!
Thanks for visiting my blog,

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