Early planting results. And “no till” introduction

7 05 2017

I planted spinach and peas 29 days ago.  They took 23 days before many of them sprouted.  I like planting things early: REALLY pushing it, in an effort to get things earlier.  It feels good to take a risk, and knowing you still have a good half dozen seeds and numerous tomato seedlings in greenhouses, is a comfort.

The spinach plot is about 2ft x 4ft.  They all look about this size:20170507_203615

I really didn’t think any peas were going to make it.  I was quite skeptical but then, I saw a few pop up.  And then, in no time…..20170507_203752

It’s about 8 ft long, and yes, that is re-bar in the ground.  Last year’s bamboo poles were bent all the way to the ground they were so heavy laden.  I thought re-bar would at least give the trellis a fighting chance.  I also used “inoculant” on my pea seeds.  Inoculant is a little package of powder that you can buy that you coat pea or bean seeds with.  It’s basically, “a bunch of bacteria” (how scientific do you want me to be?) in the powder.  When the root grows, those bacteria live on the roots and help deal with nitrogen better and they grow AND yield like crazy.  I will assume this year’s will go as good as last year’s and say, get that inoculant; compared to some other seasons, I bet I got 2x production.

I tried onion seeds again this year but it seems AGAIN, I’m at a loss.  About 60% of the seedlings are keeled over and really don’t look so good.  I am going to have to wait a couple weeks to see what ends up happening.

I also threw two tomato plants in the ground.  Let’s see if they survive; One ain’t looking too grand, other seems just fine.  These ones are “Better Boy” (typical tomato type) but I have roma and a tumbler (for a bunch of pots).  This is FAR earlier than I’ve ever done it before ….20170507_203631

 

I tried something different this year.  I tried no til gardening.  I didn’t break up my soil bed at the end of the season.  I had a tendency before to flip all the dirt over.  Turns out (I hear) that actually brings old seeds to the surface again.  I assumed it was keeping the soil “light and fluffy”.  But I think I may be kidding myself a bit; It’s pretty solid.

What I DID do is put a mulch of about 3″ leaves and then 2″ compost in the fall.  I have a feeling that is going to lead to some really good weed inhibiting.  And then to get the plants in, dig as small a hole as is necessary!  When I made the mistake of using the big shovel for a potato hill, the strata was thick and certainly showed the weeds will be, at least slow to come.  Only a few grass blades in the whole bed.  Pretty rad.

 

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