It has been a busy few weekends at Mootopia as we prepare the gardens for another growing season and make upgrades. Here are the highlights including some experimental prototypes from the Garden Circle laboratory.
The idea that asparagus is something you plant and then just harvest every spring for the next 30 years excites me. I also like to eat it, of course, but I really like the idea of putting in plants that just keep coming back for a long time with little work. Because it is a low maintenance plant and wouldn't need frequent tending, I thought it would work just fine to put it in lower raised beds. So, we made 1 foot tall beds for that job. We planted 4 asparagus per bed and they are just starting to pop up.
The little garden beds are so cute. Maybe we can make a product out of it.
Yoga tested. Queen Moo approved. She has tested each model of garden bed we have put in. If she likes it, the asparagus should, too.
Filled and planted with room to top it off after they sprout. At least that's how it said to do it on the articles I read.
Straw Bale beds
Last year our tomatoes were flopping over and taking the bales with it. This year we won't have that problem. We are trying a different way of arranging the bales and adding the Garden Circle Squares. We put in 3 of the beds to try out this year. Each one will have a different kind of frame over it for supporting the tomatoes. Stay tuned for those updates later in the season.
We also added a couple other beds of bales that are not in a mesh and fabric frame. Those will serve as controls in this experiment. We have started conditioning the bales with 3 cups per bale of Milorganite high nitrogen, organic fertilizer and generous watering. It will be very interesting to see how the contained bales do compared to the un-contained bales.
Gonna play with growing tomatoes in a hot environment, too. After finally getting the doors on the greenhouse and shelves made from bricks and panels from a couple cheap closet cabinets we no longer wanted, we were ready to figure out how to use this greenhouse for more than sprouting. We already missed the early part of the sprouting season for this year, but now we are set up for next year. I can only take on so many parts of this learning curve at a time.
For the upcoming growing season we are looking at which plants like it hot. Tomatoes come to mind. So do peppers and sweet potatoes. We are going to try those in our greenhouse planted in real soil. (Maybe we can do hydroponics later.) I plan on taking half the south side for those plants, and the greenhouse is not that big, so I chose the 3 ft diameter Garden Circles.
Turns out they fit great. Imagine a couple vining tomatoes in each of those garden beds growing up along the ceiling and cranking out tomatoes like crazy. I like that mental image a lot. One will probably have sweet potatoes the same way.
Inspired by strawberries in a gutter, but big enough to be able to handle a lot of different types of plants, these triple-decker planters will help me make the most of my greenhouse space. This first prototype started out 4 planters high, but it didn't fit so well against the curve of the greenhouse.
Now it is 3 beds high and fits much nicer. Now I just have to make a bunch more of them.
Rhubarb - Lots of rhubarb
Along the lines of plants that are easy to grow forever, we also put in a bunch of rhubarb along a 60 ft length of fence on the west side of the garden. Last year there were out of control grasses and weeds in that area, so to keep the cute little rhubarbies from getting overshadowed, we put down landscape fabric and covered that with wood chip mulch.
We put in about 30 along this fence before running out of room and then another dozen or so along the walkway into the garden. In a few years we will have sooooo much rhubarb we will be giving it away.