Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Getting Started

I never thought I would ever spend as much time on my computer as I do in the garden...but, I guess it's now official. At least I'm getting paid for most of the time I spend with my laptop...with the exception of this new blog, of course. Many of the radio show's listeners have asked to know what's going on in my garden, so I just thought it best to periodically fill everyone in. Maybe I can offer some advice along the way and let you know my successes and failures in the garden. I'm hoping to post something new every day or two so be sure to check back often.

To catch you up:
Most of you may already know that my current garden is only a few months old. We just sold our organic farm :( and moved here a few months ago (maybe I'll get into the reasons why in a later post). It's been nice to scale down - we went from 25 acres to 2 acres - but at the same time, it's been difficult to pick and choose the plants that are special enough to keep growing - not to mention being much closer to all our neighbors. I moved about 150 potted perennials with me that I divided from the farm's garden. Unfortunately, I didn't afford the pots enough winter protection, so many of them bit the dust before spring even arrived. That left me with very little to start my new garden. However, the great thing about this profession is that companies often send you new plants to trial, so I've been getting some new varieties and, of course, I've spent plenty of bucks at several local nurseries too. Doug (my radio partner) has also been quite generous in sharing many of the plants from his garden.

When we put in the two huge gardens at the farm, we had some tilling help, but stripped most of the sod ourselves - what a terrible, back-breaking job! So since we had already suffered through that, we decided to hire a landscaper to strip the sod at the new house to create my veggie garden. It's way smaller than at the farm (after all, I'm only growing for 3 people instead of 100's of customers!) but I'm still managing to harvest plenty of veggies to eat fresh, freeze, process and pickle. It's really done well this year and I'm still looking forward to some autumn lettuce and turnips.

The perennial beds aren't much to look at quite yet. You know, the plants start out so small, but in a few short years they'll be ready to be divided. I was sure to plant many of my favorite annuals (from seed and transplant) to fill in the many holes between the perennials. I'm very fond of cosmos, snow on the mountain, zinnias, gomphrena, sunflowers, old-fashioned tall ageratum and a few others - I NEED to have them in the garden every year. They remind me of my Nana...and they juice up the garden for the entire summer and well into the fall.

The future:
Those empty perennial beds are going to get a big boost tomorrow afternoon. I'm expecting a shipment of trial plants from a company called Novalis, many of which are perennials. I'm looking forward to finding homes for each and every one of them over the coming weeks. I'll let you know which ones are really stellar so you can find 'em for yourselves next year!

Other plans include a new shrub bed to help hide the ugly shed, a clean-up/perk-up of the small shade garden, and planting some fruit trees and raspberry plants. Plenty of work remains to be done this season....as is always the case in the garden.

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