Garden Optimism

I shared with you how we were converting one of our gardens to using ag cloth as a weed barrier. We got stopped in the middle of our process because of travel and rain-lots of rain. We hit our field again over the last 10 days to rescue what we could, say goodbye to what we couldn’t and plant for the future. A gardener is always optimistic right? You lose a garden, you plant another and with that comes hope again.

When we stepped back after the rains stopped this is what we had–

Grass was up to my knees in the garden.

IMG_20150723_084838240Yep, there’s a sweet potato in there somewhere!

IMG_20150723_092730488I can see the corn but not much else.

IMG_20150723_085623939_HDR

It had me feeling pretty hopeless on what we had.

However, the bed where we laid the cloth looked pretty good so we concentrated efforts there first. We still had 5 rows to plant and there was crabgrass in the empty rows but we took care of that and finished off the planting.

Hubby is great at pulling that crabgrass!

IMG_20150723_104215764

I got to planting the rest of our tomatoes. Yes, tomatoes! I know it is July, but when you have almost 100 starters you have been babying inside during the rainy stuff, you put them in the ground! We are Zone 6 and they need about 80 – 90 days in the ground until harvest. We will have a late harvest, but when everyone else is picking pumpkins, I will be eating tomato sandwiches and canning for the winter. (see where the optimist comes in?)

DSC_1622

DSC_1620So with that garden done and planted we felt very satisfied.

DSC_1619I moved onto sweet potatoes and digging the grass out from around them. And they were thriving down in there!IMG_20150723_092720762

IMG_20150723_092724122Hubby cleaned out the rest of the grass later and they are loving life again.

Jasmine just enjoyed the view.

DSC_1607

And frankly our view while working wasn’t so bad either!

IMG_20150723_090944829

Meanwhile hubby went after Garden 1 (which was planted in the spring). It was overgrown to say the least.11253945_10205894129850894_8299575913151603575_n

We grabbed the last of the lettuce, beets, collards and purple kale and cut it down and started again on it for a late summer/early fall garden.

DSC_1617

Mowed it really close.IMG_20150724_182822069

Added compost and ran the tiller through one time. It is ready!

DSC_1610

We decided all gardens would get the ag cloth treatment! We invested in the good stuff and it is being used!DSC_1608

DSC_1627

With this being ready for planting, I got to go play in my seeds and get a selection out. Zone 6 tells me 1st frost is around 10/15 so I have a bit of time still. I grabbed my seeds that are 55 – 75 days to harvest and got planting. What did I plant? Beets, beans, squash, radishes, spinach, lettuce, endive and some flowers. By the end of the weekend we had two, very good looking spaces.

DSC_1626And this morning there are signs of life in both.

IMG_20150731_084433159

IMG_20150731_084439087

IMG_20150731_084847938_HDR

IMG_20150731_084909269

IMG_20150731_084912530

Next up are the hoops and cold frames. But for this moment, optimism!

11745507_10205894130210903_7053621098192139894_n

Happy Unleashing your optimism!

FGU

 

Adjusting to Four Seasons

I love living in an area with four seasons.  I have loved the fall colors, the snow, the lillies in the spring and hot, humid days of summer. BUT I still don’t seem to really be in sync with the four seasons.  In the south, on Jan. 2, you basically are blowing leaves off the driveway, ordering your pinestraw to put in the beds and if you plant you are planning and getting going on the garden Feb/March. My friends in the south are posting pics of veggies and garden fresh dinners and I am feeling behind!

We are at May 15th and I have been in a panic about getting my tomato babies outside!  I “feel” like I am behind.  My brain is still on the schedule I have had for 20+ years.  Last weekend we prep our big bed for them at BSA (Big Sky Acres).  It is 33 x 25 (Garden Bed #6) and had a cover crop on it during winter.  We went out and turned the cover crop, we laid out a wonderfully measured grid with string, I laid out the plan of what tomatoes and what peppers where going where in a beautifully color coded spreadsheet.

garden grid

 

Yes it is a little geeky, but I am in technology by day don’t forget. 🙂

It has rained this week and now we have cool temps.  AND I have been in this upheaval about getting these tomatoes in the ground (like yesterday!).  It had to happen NOW! I mean it is about the middle of summer (isn’t it?)

This morning, when the temps were showing 48 degrees and my forecast didn’t look much better, I took a breath and paused and asked myself if my tomatoes were worrying about leaving the warmth of the pole barn and their heated mat or was it just me who wanted to throw them into the cold because I was on an old time frame in my head. I mean look at my forecast!

weather

 

I had not even checked my soil temps yet!  I can just about guarantee that they are not in the 70’s yet and certainly not approaching 80 degrees.  Then I asked myself “when did I plant tomatoes last year?” Well…. that would have been June 10th I said to myself sheepishly.

THEN I MADE A DECISION!  I need to remember I am in Indiana.  My Indiana guidelines say NOT to plant until after mid May (which I am just now approaching and my hubby’s mamma said her rule of thumb here was Memorial Weekend).  I am NOT in the south.  I love Indiana. My mantra became–

I love and embrace my planting schedule!

So for today, my tomatoes and peppers will stay with their heat mat and lights. I will begin to harden them off next week. Garden Bed #1 that is also prepped will today receive seeds of spinach, chard, peas, lettuce and radishes.  ALL of which love 45 degree soil and planting at this very time in Indiana.

I am in Indiana. I am not late on my garden. I am in perfect timing!

Happy Unleashing in whatever gardening zone you are in!

FGU