The plan this year is less experiments, more volume. The hugelkultur bed did well last year, as did the lasagna (sheet composting) beds, with mixed results in the box beds and the failure of the wicking bed. Okay, not a complete failure, I just had to water it more than I had anticipated. This year, we are sheet composting everything, since it’s easy to do (in fact, it’s done, save for one more harvesting of the lawn clippings for the “sheet composted ofer leaky plastic liner”, with wood chips between the rows. Thanks to a wet start, the wood chips are holding a lot of water and breaking down quite nicely. Once the garden is established, the walkways may be screened with a new “killing mulch” layed down and a new layer of wood chips, taking the screened wood chip/compost mix as a mulch over the grass clippings, and possibly another side dressing of horse manure. According to a couple of compost calculators, a 1:1:1 mix should work out just fine, considering the screened wood chips will mostly be the consistency of wet leaves.
The biggest point of musing and planning now is how much to plant and when. Immediately, or perhaps tomorrow, the potatoes that have sprouted in the cellar will have to be placed into the soil, or composted. Snow peas are behind schedule: they should have been out there a couple of weeks ago along with the lettuces. Protecting the carrots from ol’ long ears will have to be planted out in short order, and the cukes will need to be stared indoors to keep them from rotting in case we have another couple of weeks of rain. I am still wanting to try my hand at melons as well, so there may be a couple of more plots/rows layed out for these, but with our short growing season and the need for warm soil, this could also be a challenge. The strawberries have been planted and mulched as of this week, and the daughter’s gardens seeded with sunflowers, strawberries, and some other flower mixes that don’t come to mind. My youngest has been happy to help, my elder has been keen to plan, my wife is recouperating from her successful completion of her Master’s Degree (Woo hoo!), and together we make a great team, as well as a great family. Well, time to look over my seeds and start planting!