Tag Archives: Michigan Garden

Garden Update: Grass

Bolted Spinach

If you look very closely at the picture above you will see three rows of bolted spinach nestled among the grass.

Close up Bolted spinach

This has been a very trying garden year. With the 100 degree days, I have not been out to the garden as much to do the work.

Weedy Snow Peas

To compound the problem, the Platt Garden is grassy to the extreme. Any non-weeded patch of soil becomes a lawn. Above,the grass has attacked my giant snow peas.

Weedy Garden paths

The folks who splurged for straw were the smart ones this year.

I rarely do the straw thing. I tend to be a fan of the hula hole, which allows me to weed most my garden without hand weeding. This includes the rows.

A few minutes of hula holing once a week for a few weeks and my garden was good to go. The weeds stop coming. But not this year.

The weather kept me away and the grass took over.

Cardboard Weed Barrier

So I am now on the defensive and the name of the game is cardboard.

I have used cardboard on all of my rows and will have to put in the extra hours to weed all of my beds by had (UGH!!!) And I will need to do that for the rest of the year.

For now, I had to turn over my radish and spinach beds without getting a harvest.

Ready to Plant

Garden Seed Catalog Season

There is snow on the ground, and the weather has been in the 30-20’s all week, so why am I writing about gardening? February is the time when seed catalogs start coming in. In the comforts of my warm winter house, I start planning what I am going to grow next year.

This is when I factor how much space I have to grow. Will I increase the size of my garden, or even rent a community garden plot? Will I try for a early start with row covers, or try starting seeds inside under lights? And will I try to grow some new veggies or play around with european or asian plant varieties to experiment with new cuisines? Such are the questions of the February arm chair gardner.

Usually my eyes that are glued to the seed catalogs are bigger than my available garden space. That usually does not stop me from growing way more than my family can eat. But right now is the time to decide what I am going to grow next year. This means that I’m planning what I am going to be eating some 4-6 months in advance. Usually I sit down and make a menu for the week on Sunday. Before then I am not sure what I will being eating. So thinking about food six months in advance is a rather interesting concept.

In fact this process started in the fall. This year I have done something different. Based on the Elliot Coleman’s winter gardening books, I decided to plant my garden in the fall to get a jump on early spring. The picture above shows my garden with plastic hoop row covers. The idea is to plant early spring crops like beets, broccoli, carrots, scallions, arugula, and more in the late fall. The row covers provide some extra warmth, and protect from winter wind. When spring comes around, hopefully the plants will take off and start growing earlier. With most of early spring planted, there is late spring and summer seeds to think about.

So what seeds are on the list? I am still looking, but I am thinking about growing some southern food varieties like turnip greens. If I rent a garden plot, I might grow some flowers for the honey bees, and I have been looking into growing potatoes in bins (See future garden post).

Seed Companies resources

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/

http://www.territorialseed.com/

http://www.fedcoseeds.com/

http://www.cooksgarden.com/