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2010 Garden Journal
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Jim Jacobs
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:04 am    Post subject: 2010 Garden Journal Reply with quote

The warmer than average weather has pretty much fooled me into thinking I'm behind in my gardening, but the calendar says different.

So far I have 4 flats of healthy starts, 2 holding small peat pots of Big Red Tomato starts for market, and for my own garden 1 flat of Orinoco Tobacco starts, and a flat containing divided pots of Red Fig Tomatoes, Big Red Tomatoes, Jefferson/McMahon Bird Peppers and Birdhouse Gourds.

Last evening I got out and started cleaning my garden bed up, picking up prunings from the apple trees and piling them to be burned or cut for use in staking, and raking last year's garden waste into a massive centrally located compost heap. During the course of cleaning up the beds I also salvaged a few of last year's onions that are beginning to sprout again, and moved a few bulbs of garlic that I'd missed to their new location. What's left of last year's turnips beginning to green up again, along with some early volunteer lettuce, will likewise find a place in a few early salets.

After the cleanup I still had plenty enough daylight to hoe and plant 55 ft. of peas, then I turned to on dividing and laying out the bed for planting, which I anticipate being able to wrap up over the next couple evenings, immediately after which I'll plant my potatoes, lettuce and turnips.

Of particular note, I think my wooden rake will come in quite handy in measuring the spaces between rows when laying them out, being that the the head is 2 feet in length and is divided by the teeth spaced at 2", and the head and 6 ft. handle form a handy square for keeping the layout true. By this use I can forego the measuring stick or the paces and guesswork I've employed in the past.
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Jim Jacobs
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What seed I don't save is now bought, including red and white seed potatoes. The potato and kitchen garden beds are laid out and staked. Planted; 1/2 the onions, turnips, tennis ball lettuce, broccoli and roquet arugula. Left to be planted; Purple Olive Radishes, potatoes, the balance of the onions and the prairie seed I've put back to extend my prairie patch. Toward the end of the month after the last expected frost I'll be planting Jefferson Big Red Tomatos, Jefferson/McMahon Bird Peppers, carrots, the Lenape corn and beans I always plant, birdhouse gourds, 3 or 4 hills each of Boston Marrow Squash and Connecticut Field Pumpkins, pickling cucumbers, West Indian Gherkins, Orinoco tobacco, and if there's still room I'll be trying Moon and Stars watermelons again this year, in the hope that I'll be able to deter the mice and voles from boring into them before I can.

Also of note; yesterday I rec'd by penny post the bench graft fruit trees I ordered a few months ago, one being an English Green Gage Plum and the other being a Roxbury Russet Apple, which this morning I potted up in 5 gallon buckets of peat moss and compost, where they'll remain to be nursed along until stable enough to transplant to their permanent spot. The fruits of both are right proper 17th and 18th century fare, and if I find success in nurturing these trees along I'll be carrying it on my Living History forays in another 4 or 5 years. I might even have the patience by then to try my hand at making a little 18th c. wine with them.
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Jim Jacobs
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This morning a little in advance of rain, I uncovered the 3 x 50 ft. strip of ground set aside and covered last year for the prairie patch, and found a good, bare, fertile and dry strip to cultivate and plant. Peparation for planting required no more than harrowing it into shallow furrows with the rake, and in 15 or 20 minutes I was ready to seed. I opened my 5 gallon bucket of the seed I put back to find most of the seed viable, though some was moldy with it's viability is in question. Apparently it wasn't fully dry before sealing up the container. Nevertheless I broadcast it all in the newly cultivated bed, reserving some to seed last year's prairie, then covered the whole with a thin layer of peat moss, and as I was wrapping it all up a good rain moved in.

Having broadcast the mixed seed I'll have a jumble of plants the first year or two, but eventually nature will take it's own course and through competition each plant will eventually find its own place.

Planted; Switchgrass, Little Bluestem, Ox Eye Sunflowers, Purple Coneflower, Goldenrod, Partidge Peas, Prairie Blazing Star and Bottle Gentian (Soapwort).

Still to be planted; Prairie Dock, Big Bluestem, Compass Plant and Purple Prairie Clover, Butterfly Weed and more Prairie Blazing Star, all of which will be purchased at a prairie preserve and nursery in the next county.

As to last year's prairie section, all plantings did quite well and are showing signs of emergence, including the Soapwort I transplanted there last Fall. Hopefully within the next two weeks the weather and my schedule will allow for a burning.

At the end of this season I'll have a full 3 ft. by 75 ft. strip of prairie, with another 5 by 20 ft. patch appended at the North end, forming an L-shaped patch bordering my 18th century vegetable garden. Next Season I'll begin working on extending the patch, appending another section at the south end and reserving another 5 by 85 ft. strip further toward the road. This will leave but a 10 ft. easement along the road on which to park and an 8 ft. strip of burp turf from the back gate to the road, and it's the only section that will still require mowing.
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Jim Jacobs
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carrots and radishes are in.
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Isaac
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Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 289
Location: Ouisconsing, Pays d'en Haut
Real Name: Isaac Walters

PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AWESOME stuff, Jim. You are truely inspiring. We in Wisconsin are a bit behind you right now, but VERY ahead for usual this time of year.

http://frenchinwisconsin.yolasite.com/my-blog/printemps-spring

Isaac

_________________
We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations, the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.
Aldo Leopold
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Jim Jacobs
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After a 5 day hiatus for trade the onions and potatoes are all in, I've transplanted 6 purple coneflowers from the old section of the prairie patch to the new, and I've hilled up one row of the corn patch. A week or so remains until the last expected frost date before I can plant the balance of the garden, time that will be spent preparing the beds.


Isaac wrote:
AWESOME stuff, Jim. You are truely inspiring. We in Wisconsin are a bit behind you right now, but VERY ahead for usual this time of year.

http://frenchinwisconsin.yolasite.com/my-blog/printemps-spring

Isaac

Within the context of your blog and what you're doing your compliment puzzles me, Isaac, but thank you.
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Isaac
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Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 289
Location: Ouisconsing, Pays d'en Haut
Real Name: Isaac Walters

PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm... let me clarify. Inspiring in that a.) you are doing stuff earlier than I can (we have awhile of frost yet b.) Much of what you do is very cool and makes me continually rethink what and how I am doing what I do, and c.) is done enough using 18th century tools and techniques that I feel inspired to "cheat" less ... also, I could add a d.) in that I have been neglecting my apple trees and know there will be another couple years until I can get in pears.

On a positive note, last weekend I dug a hug amount of sod and got the new raised beds for the herbs made. Now I have to haul dirt to them and lay the cobblestones/pavers around them... and of course plant the herbs.

Anyway, keep up the cool work and keep posting!!

Isaac

_________________
We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations, the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.
Aldo Leopold
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Jim Jacobs
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just expressing my own admiration. Your compliments strike me as odd because I'm continually inspired by your work. It appears that we're locked in something of a loop here. Anyway, thank you again sir, for your compliments, and your contributions.
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Isaac
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Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 289
Location: Ouisconsing, Pays d'en Haut
Real Name: Isaac Walters

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Jacobs wrote:
Just expressing my own admiration. Your compliments strike me as odd because I'm continually inspired by your work. It appears that we're locked in something of a loop here. Anyway, thank you again sir, for your compliments, and your contributions.


It is probably a good loop though. I know that Tharp and I often fall into this as well.

IW

_________________
We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations, the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.
Aldo Leopold
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Jim Jacobs
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The past few days have been spent preparing the remaining bed for planting the less cold tolerant crops next week. Weeding some, laying out and staking, erecting tomato trellises and hilling up a couple of rows for the three sisters. Yesterday I took time out to shave down a 5 or 6 year old volunteer maple sapling I cut down last year, for a new handle for one of my eye hoes, a job that took upwards of 2 hours.

This year I think I'm going to do a little experiment with the corn patch, I'll plant half in hills and the other half I'll put in drilled rows. Every year I fight the weeds until the cucurbits mature to take over the task, and from what I've seen I'm getting the impression that planting corn in hills is/was an expedient that actually requires the use of squash to keep the weeds down, being that it seems like it would be much more difficult to keep them down by hoe in hilled beds rather than in drilled rows. I've never grown corn any other way but by the 3 sisters method, but I do know that hoeing other vegetables in rows takes less effort, and this year I'll find out for certain, by immediate comparison, the relative advantages and disadvantages of both methods, in terms of time and labor expended, and in yields.

There's still much to be done, so I have a full weekend ahead of me, probably followed by another full week of planting, then it'll be time to fall into the unending hoeing and weeding routine.
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Jim Jacobs
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beds are done, now to plant. Half the corn patch is hilled up, half is in furrows. I'll be planting beans and gourds in the the Western-most hills of the corn patch, the North and East hilled section will be in corn, beans and Boston Marrow Squash, the Southern furrowed section will be in corn, beans and Connecticut Field Pumpkins. Directly off the Northern edge of the corn patch is space for Moon and Stars watermelons, boardered at the North edge with two more rows for corn which will serve to seperate the melons and potato patch (incompatible). Directly West of the Melon and Potato patch is a 5 x 25 ft. section for Orinoco Tobacco, space enough I believe for 9 good plants staggered in 2 rows. At the very South end of the garden space, South of the Corn patch, is the area reserved for the Kitchen Garden. All that remains to be planted there are the Jefferson Big Red Tomatoes, Jefferson/McMahon Bird Peppers, Pickling Cukes and West Indian Gherkins.

While wrapping up the hoeing this morning I burned a large heap of old seasoned yard waste and prunings and scrap lumber from my shop, the ash from which will be mixed with last year's compost and spread over the garden patch. There'll not be enough for the whole patch so I'll apply this fertilizer to the areas that need it most.

During the course of cleaning and cultivating the garden area I've discovered evidence of an infestation of mice and voles, evident by a profusion of dens and holes along the fence and a colony mound hidden in the Northernmost corner of the prairie patch. This colony mound was raised directly beneath my Jeruselum Artichokes, and as I have yet to see artichoke sprouts I suspect the vermin laid waste to them over the Winter. I'll be taking measures, most likely setting out bait stations consisting of bowls of cornmeal mixed with baking soda, and covering them with inverted and weighted 5 gallon buckets with access tunnels dug beneath the bottom edge. I don't really care to risk using commercial poisons for this task around my produce, and the infestation is so extreme I don't believe trapping alone will cure it.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Jim Jacobs
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gvido wrote:
Jim, i am always amazed about your gardening energy! Gives me lot of inspiration! This year i have decided to let the garden have a "breather" - no planting at all :o)...
...will also give me more time jump arround the woods and make weird sounds :o)

PS: I think, not bothering about the garden this year, was a good decission, considering the vulcanic cloud and the fact that it snowed today!

Shoot, all we ever get around here are floods and the occasional tornado. Oh well. You know, if you're getting some of the ash raining down you might actually have a better crop next year.

My gardening energy.....thank you, and I'm glad it inspires you. I'm thinking about taking a break from it myself next year, or at least paring way back. I've been toying with putting the beds in clover this fall, and working on building the soil back up in '11. We'll see how I feel about that next March, when I need relief from cabin fever.
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Jim Jacobs
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday I pretty much finished planting all the seeded beds.... corn, melons, cukes and gherkins. All that remains is to plant the other two sisters (beans and cucurbits), and the tomato, pepper and tobacco starts.

Before wrapping up the planting I spread a thin layer ash from last weekend's burn over the entire garden area, and mixed the balance of the ash into what remained of the old and the new compost heaps. In the coming days I'll be spreading compost and fertilizer.

The forecast is calling for a few days of good soaking rains, and the timing for it is perfect.

This week the buds opened on my new fruit tree bench grafts. So far so good, they're still alive after all.
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Larry IB
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Joined: 19 Dec 2009
Posts: 5
Location: Mobile,Alabama
Real Name: Larry Hataway

PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

finally getting some rain. then it will be hoeing,hoeing and more hoeing then we start over hoeing. I don't know if anyone else has this non native grass that Mobile county is covered with, we call it Johnson grass some call it by it's non pc name of jap grass,no offense intended. It seems it came here in shipping crates from southeast asia way back this stuff has roots that go deep and spread out the only thing that you can control it with and I hate this product is :{ roundup. i Refuse to use it at my garden so it's hoe,hoe and more hoeing. By the way we are the same port that brought you fire ants you are most welcome:}
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