Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Gladiolas Planted-Check; Potatoes Planted-Check; Dahalias Planted-Check; Sweet Peas Planted, Up and Staked-Check

Busy last few days here on the farm.  With the weather being perfect, too many things need to be done, NOW!!  Frank has been busy too.  He finished painting and general once a year maintenance on his John Deere and is starting to build me a new tool shed in the back vegetable gardening area.  He poured the concrete floor and is building the walls in his shop.  I am such a lucky gal!!!
I have been busy too, I planted 50 dahlia bulbs and over 200 glad bulbs.  Technically, they aren't bulbs, they are called "corms".  I find they are the best priced flower to add to any garden.  Particularly if you like a layered flower bed, with short flowers in the front border and the graduated height of others until you have these tall great glad flowers in the back.  I had planted about 60 glad bulbs about a month or more ago, those are up about a foot now and will be blooming probably sometime in June, where the bulbs (corms) I planted a few days ago, will bloom about 6 weeks after that.  Interesting about glad bulbs.  When you plant them, they do what they need to do and bloom within about 90 days after planting.  Many gardeners plant a group of them every 2-3 weeks to insure glads all summer long.  But as usual with nature, we try and control them but, next year, the glads will all bloom at the very same time if they are left in the ground over winter. Only way to get around that is to dig them up in the fall and start planting again next year at different times.
Last year's glads
I had started my special sweet peas in the greenhouse and planted them about 5 days ago.  Yesterday, Frank helped me and hammered in T-posts and I strung the special climbing netting up about 5' horizontally.  I still have a few flats of them in the green house and plan on planting those in the boxes around the perimeter of the greenhouse, also using the netting to aid them in their vertical growth.  This is the most sweet peas I have ever grown, I have just been dreaming and dreaming of having bouquets of sweet peas-maybe even to start up my new venture-CSA flower membership by making them the first bouquet available of the spring season.

Last Years Sweet Peas
Of course, I can't just keep dreaming about flowers, I need to start thinking about vegetables too.  I planted 25 lbs of red and yellow potatoes a few days ago.  I wish all plantings were this easy.  Each potato has several "eyes" which you cut up one potato so that each piece as at least one eye.  I normally get from 3-4 pieces out of every potato.  I had read someplace that you need to cut the pieces and let them stand a day before planting.  It is what I do, don't know exactly why, may be the sealing of the open wound to insure the roots will start.  The greenhouse is full of flats of other vegetables ready to come out and play in the real world-just need me to make it happen!!

Knowing when and what to plant in a farm business is one of the major tasks.  If all you grow are tomatoes, no problem you plant them all at the same time.  But to insure that my members have a full basket of many varieties of vegetables starting in May clear through September, constant care is needed to keep plants growing; when finished, replant more or plant every so many weeks to insure there is a constant supply-as an example beans.  I plant rows of beans every two weeks.  One plant will have many batches as long as you keep picking them, but after 2-3 pickings, the plants start to die.  Beans are such a great vegetable to eat AND to can or freeze to store for winter, we grow many rows planted throughout spring and early summer.
A follow-up on the un-expected chicks, only 3 have survived but those little guys are doing well.  There is pure ahh and wonder when it comes to farm animals, but there is heartache too.  You have to just accept what happens, do your best and love what God has given you to care for in the end.  Someday these little girls (and hopefully ONLY girls) will grow up and provide us with wonderful eggs to eat.
Looking forward to our March 20th Bring In Spring-Make Your Own Laundry Soap class.  Will show you pictures on the next blog, we have some fun hands on projects planned for our class participants.

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