Friday, March 18, 2011

Putting plants in the ground

It felt a lot like summer today. Our high was about 80 degrees. We had rain a couple of days ago, but the warmer temperatures and breeze that has been blowing is beginning to dry things out. Usually, there are a couple of weeks in March/April that it dries up enough to work the garden and begin getting some things planted. It’s till too wet to work up our main garden area, but maybe we’re getting closer to that drying period.

001I did work in the dirt a bit yesterday and today. A couple of months ago, I ordered some plants. They arrived this week. So, I thought it would be a good idea to get them in the ground.

Yesterday, I planted three Rosa Rugosa plants that Anne ordered free from Gurneys. I planted some in front of the house we lived in before we moved to Kentucky, and we enjoyed them. One of the reasons for getting them now (besides the fact that they were free with the Gurneys’ promotional coupon) is that Rosa Rugosa produce many nice-sized rose hips. We want to harvest them for tea.

009Also yesterday, I put six hazelnut trees in the ground. We would like a good nut source. The wild nuts around here are hickory and black walnut. Primarily, we’ve used hickory nuts.

I’ve been digging into one of my compost piles, the smallest one actually, for these plantings. Today, I dug into it a bit more for the strawberry beds. I finished my work on the Bobcat earlier in the week and was able to use it for moving the compost. 005About three years ago I framed two beds about four feet by 50 feet using some cedar boards and slabs. I added some compost to them and planted strawberries.

We had a few strawberries the next summer, but the deer and weeds were hard on them. Few actually survived. So, yesterday, the boys pulled out all of the old weeds from the beds to get them ready for today. This morning, they dug out the few remaining plants, and I filled the beds with compost. I would say the layer of compost was 6 to 8 inches deep. We then used grub hoes and then the tiller to work it into the soil in the beds a little.

Once the beds were ready, we planted the 100 strawberry plants that arrived two days ago. We also replanted the ones that survived from the previous planting. Later, after they are established, we’ll mulch the plants well to help keep down the weeds. 011I think weeds are the greatest problem with growing strawberries.

We still have 50 asparagus crowns to put in the ground and some cherry bushes, too. This afternoon, I disked the area where we tried to grow corn last year. At one end of it, I used the turning plow to dig two ditches. 014On Sunday, we’ll put compost in the ditches and plant the asparagus in them. We’ll also put the cherry bushes in the same area – it’s actually on one side of our small orchard which seems like a good place.

Later, I’ll put compost on the ground I disked today. We’ll use it for garden along with the main area in front of the new house which will also receive as much compost as I can spread on it. I can see already that I won’t have enough compost and that I need to haul in a lot more stuff.

We’re enjoying the spring weather, for sure. Next week, we ought to be able to get the cows out of the barn and back on grass. They’ll appreciate that, I’m sure. It’s really nice to see things greening up and the early spring flowers. One of our plum trees just bloomed today. There will be a lot more blooms on other trees soon.




wow, you're so much drier than my farm is, just a little bit south. Go figure. "The last 2 weeks of rain have swamped my garden spots, glad i didnt fertilize yet, it would have all run off!


I have two hazelnut bushes in the yard. Just wanted to mention to you that they get pretty big and grow out from the bottom as well. Mine produce lots of hazelnuts-smaller than store bought--but still very good.
Hope your strawberries do well. I bought just 20 but 10 were moldy and didn't grow. Still I have a much smaller patch and also have some leftover ones from previous years to replant as well.


My regular garden area is still too wet to work up. If we don't get rain for the next few days, I hope to spread compost and disk it this week.

Becky, thanks for the info on hazelnuts. I spaced mine about 15 feet apart. So, hopefully they will have enough room. I'm also hopeful that the strawberries will do well and that we'll keep the weeds under control.

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