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

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Starting Over with One of Our Square Foot Garden Boxes

This was the moon as I saw it early this morning.  I took this picture totally unrelated to and without knowledge of the rest of today's activities...but perhaps it will prove to be a good sign:)  You will understand why I have this photo here after you read on a bit more...

One of our square foot garden boxes has not done well at all.  In fact, though things did sprout, they never did anything more than sprout IF they stayed alive, and the rest wilted to nothingness (well I suppose you could consider the composting idea of the remains, but really they were too small to accomplish much of that).  We attribute this to 2 things: 1. the box was not level therefore water pooled in 1/3 of the box each time it rained, and 2. the soil is so thick and clay-like that the roots may be struggling to push through and grow. There is a minor contributor, and that is the sun...well, maybe not a minor contribution, but we really think this is a good sunny spot in the yard.  So while we are not giving credit to lack of sun as a problem, it just might be. 

In response to this tragedy (yes to me this is a tragedy), today we elevated the low corner of the box to make it level and we amended the soil with peat moss.  We sowed new seeds ~ Mountain Man planted radish seeds in one half of the box (the left side in the photo below) and I planted full rows of broccoli & spinach, and half rows of salsify, celery, radina lettuce and bibb lettuce.  Our reasoning for what we planted?  The radishes, broccoli, spinach and celery have not grown well anywhere we have planted them, the salsify is growing but seems slow and I wanted to try it in the newly amended soil, and the lettuces, well, one can always use good lettuce, I consider that a choice supporting succession planting:)

Many farmers and gardeners in these parts (and elsewhere) believe that planting by the signs or by the moon is important and ensures a most productive garden.  We have never followed either of these methods in planting our garden this year, but I thought since we had to replant one square foot box, why not check it out.  Unfortunately, according to Tipper in a recent Blind Pig and the Acorn post (a favorite blog of mine, celebrating Tipper's Appalachian heritage) Planting by the Signs July 2012, today was not an ideal day to plant.  But happily, the The Farmer's Almanac (gardening by the moon) indicates today is a good day to plant "Beets, Carrots, Radishes, Salsify, Turnips, Peanuts, And Other Root Crops".  We shall see how things grow, I'll let you know!  But now you may understand why taking the picture of the moon this morning seems like it's own sign!

We are also fortunate in that, though we have had quite a bit of heavy rain the past several days, today we have had frequent, intermittent, relatively light rain, so I think our newly sown seeds will be safe and hopefully get just enough of a soaking to encourage germination:)  Again, I'll keep you informed!

I'll leave you today with the delicate, tiny Dayflower that I found by our mailbox today.  I like it because it compliments the blue sky moon theme for today...  These beauties only bloom for 1 day!  I'm glad I saw it!

Thank you for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,

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