Saturday, April 17, 2010

Newbie Veg Gardener

My First (Real) Veg Garden!  Although I have been gardening professionally for the better part of 10 years, it has been ornamental gardening, with one foray into vegetable gardening. This experience, at the request of a client, was unsatisfactory, frustrating, and frankly, quite pathetic on my part.  My client had us pick the meagre harvest and she would give them to the nuns at the local church.  I'm sorry, nuns, I may go straight to hell for that.  Oh well.......  Try Again!!!

I am going to share my veg garden experience with anyone who may read this, and tell YOU what works, what doesn't.  I share my plat with two friends, who have one solid season of veg garden experience under their collective belt.  Our plot is 12x25, although we are attempting to acquire the plot next to us to expand (!) our garden. 

Here in Minnesota, we start kind of late with veg gardening.  Today I spent a couple of hours and got about half the plot weeded and covered with chopped leaves.  My thought is, when it's planting time, we won't be covered up in weeds.  Here is my photo journal from today:

Here is the part I didn't weed and cover with chopped leaves:

Last season's sage that made it through the winter:

Plot after weed removal and addition of chopped leaves:

Chopped leaves make such a great mulch, you can then incorporate them into to soil at planting time.  A perfect and cheap (free) amendment.   And PLEASE DON"T USE THIS!!!!!!!
The harvest of peat moss contributes HUGELY to CO2 into the atmosphere, and absolutely RUINS ecosystems.  Use compost, leaves, anything but this.  If you are tempted to use peat moss because the desired plant needs more acidic soil than you have available, PLANT SOMETHING ELSE!!!!!!!!!

And for HEAVEN'S SAKE! Don't use this!  It looks like HELL, and the manufacture of black plastic uses petroleum and contributes to climate change.  

This is the lot (the one totally covered in leaves) that we hope to acquire.  Someone very forward looking covered this last fall, making it virtually weed free. 

This, on the other hand, was not mulched and now will be a major pain in the arse to deal with:

So, Tune in next time for Veg Garden Adventures with Gabby!

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's Tulip Time!

Planting Tulips is one job that is hard for some gardeners to do.  It's a little hard to get motivated when it is fall, you're tired, and spring is a distant figment of hope.

 Like many difficult tasks, the rewards are great.  Here are some pics taken over the years of tulip plantings I have done for gardening clients.  Let me know what you think.

In the fall, I will remind you to plant bulbs, and give you some tips to get great results like these.

For you Preppy Gardeners, pink and green

Gorgeous pink and red hues

Bold oranges and yellows

For the All-White garden

A colorful French tulip blend

A stream of soft pastels

Purples and pinks