Yesterday I visited a geothermal greenhouse to see the progress of the plants inside. These tomatoes, 5 different varieties if I remember correctly, were planted back in the first week of April. They’re easily 3 times the size of my own tomatoes that are growing outdoors.
One of our favorite vegetables has become spaghetti squash over the last year. The children are very picky eaters and I was amazed when I gave them a sample of spaghetti squash and they asked for more.
This year we are going to grow two crops of the spaghetti squash with the second one being in the in the garden green house. The first crop is out in the soil and many of the plants are already over 8 feet tall. Here is just one of the many squash growing in our garden.
Today we sat down and shredded the zucchini from the garden. At the end of this little project we had 22 cups of it to put in the freezer for zucchini bread we all love. Our favorite recipe calls for 2 cups of zucchini so we premeasued into into quart size freezer bags.
The Swiss chard and kale are both doing well in the garden, I like to call it the smoothie section of the garden. A couple times a day I go out and clip some of each and take it right inside to the little blender to make one of my favorite smoothies. It is getting ahead of me and is going to need pruning soon. If I can’t find someone to take what we prune then it will go into the freezer.
We’ve got half a bed of tomatoes in the garden that needed twine to train them to grow vertically. The tomatoes are planted 9 inches apart and alternate which direction they will be trained to grow. Growing them this way ensures they will get adequate light and space when trimmed properly.
Our soil is has lots of clay and it makes any type of tuber grow funny. This year I decided to try to grow carrots in a custom soil mix. We are trying two heirloom varieties this year in a section of our 30 foot long grow box.
We mix our carrot seeds in with dry sand and then pour the sand into the area we want the carrots to grow. The carrot seed is added into a mason jar at one part seeds to 100 parts of sand and mixed thoroughly. For our purpose we added 1/2 a teaspoon of carrot seeds to 1 cup of sand.
In the picture below you can see the sand that was applied in a row just over the top of the seed packs. The one cup of sand and seeds ended up being 10 feet long once applied.
If you just can’t find good sawdust locally you can pick up these equine pellets made from pine at farm supply stores. I understand that pellets for the pellet burning stoves can also be used and found cheaper on sale and in bulk.
With a Mittleider garden and a little planning it doesn’t matter if your rows run north and south or east and west. It’s more important to lay out your rows so they run with the contour of your land. In a Mittleider garden your rows need to be level. By orienting your rows with the contour of your property it will end up being less work for you to get the beds level.
Our average last day of frost has passed for the spring and we are full on in garden mode. Today we pruned up a mess of the tomatoes we started from seeds and have begun transplanting them into the garden. The next week is going to be busy for us
They get pruned fairly heavily before transplanting, here are some pictures before and after pruning. When transplanting they go as deep as possible, each of those root hairs on the stem will become a new root to feed the plant and fruit.
All these were started in sand and sawdust and will be grown in the same custom soil mix. We will be putting more tomatoes in our native soil later.
Here is another plant before and after pruning. Look at that root system in the last picture.