Wednesday, March 17, 2010

First plantings

I got my garlic transplanted out today. I never got around to planting them in October, so I started them indoors in January. I put out 11 plants. Hopefully, the geese won't take interest before I get a chance to move the geese to the pond pasture.

In addition I planted seeds as follows:

Arugula - 20 seeds -- I'm not expecting this to be a particularly big market draw and I don't know of any appropriate preservation methods, so I decided small succession plantings were in order. Past seasons have shown arugula grows well in Ohio, pretty much regardless of when planted.

Fava Beans - 40 seeds -- The whole package; Southern Exposure says culture similar to peas, so we shall see. I planted favas two years ago and the pods rotted before they were ready to harvest. I thought maybe it was too wet here; perhaps I just planted them too late?

Bok Choy - 216 seeds -- Again, I don't expect a big draw at farmer's markets for bok choy, but it makes fine kimchee, so I'm not worried about swimming in the stuff. Also, it does not work for succession plantings -- any bok choy planted after March will bolt before it really develops. Starting in July, we can do succession plantings for fall crops.

After two years of planting in rows, I'm back to planting based on Mel Bartholomew's square foot method. I'm using four foot wide strips (I call a 4'x4' section a "block" and a 1'x1' a "square"). This is what I used in Arizona and the first two years in Ohio. I changed to rows because I thought it would be faster. Unfortunately, rows did not significantly help me get seeds planted, and they made it more difficult to keep track of where things were planted. Weeding was a nightmare. Square foot gardening employs an intensity that aids in weed suppression, as well as aiding in seeing where the "strips" are. I'm also being a bit more realistic about what and how much I plant. We're looking forward to a good year in 2010.

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