I decided to measure the height of my blueberry bushes in June 2020 in hopes that I remember to do the same around this time next year to compare the growth. The first bush is facing about 42 degrees north and the final bush is what looks like a "Charlie Brown" blueberry bush. Bush heights from 42 degrees north on in: 34"; 26"; 28"; 11"; 30".
Planted cucumbers yesterday. I planted these from seed a month or so ago.
Christy took this panoramic picture on May 2.
Pink Tip Greasy pole beans coming up! Rattlesnake (preacher) pole beans are in the other side with Bolita beans and Betty (crowder) peas in the middle.
Red seed potato experiment underway! Hoping to yield 10lbs. We’ll see! On May 3, the bucket in the middle is already almost to the top with compost.
Christy and I enjoyed a weekend afternoon at Mammoth Cave walking some trails. We enjoyed seeing the “sinks” as we walked today. It was cool to see a portion of the underground river like the one in the background of the picture above.
I moved two of the three blueberry bushes from inside the fence to the outside. They appear to be very healthy!
I put in two out of the four compost worm towers I made. The majority of the 4” pipe is buried with holes drilled in the sides. I placed some kitchen scraps and red composting worms on top.
Moved the strawberries into the sun. I imagine I’ll have to give some plants away next year.
Set out 6 Fuzzy Blue Ball Heirloom Tomatoes.
I started Christy’s cilantro early. The recycling company is going under and I “recycled” our container into a planter.
I’ve got 3 zucchini plants going. They should be very strong by the time I get them in the ground. We have another week or so of possible frost nights so I won’t put them in the ground yet.
Today I opened a few of the winter-sown tomatoes. Below are Ox Heart, Purple Cherokee, and Fuzzy Blue Balls (a new-to-me cherry styled tomato). These are all heirloom varieties; two of which I saved from last year (Ox and Purple), and one I traded for on a FB seed group (Fuzzy).
In February, I decided I needed to bury the electric fence wire that goes across each raised bed so I did not trip over it or get shocked when I mowed/trimmed weeds.
Soon I'm looking forward to attaching my rain barrel to an underground 1" pipe to provide water at the far end of the last bed.
An easy way to build a quick, cheap greenhouse is to buy some repurposed windows from Habitat ReStore and simply lean them against a couple t-posts. Done. I am starting lettuce and spinach in this small plot and am using the other one (to the right) as a greenhouse for my winter greenhouses.
My winter greenhouses are used, clean milk/juice/ice cream jugs. I plant the seeds in the dead of winter inside milk jugs outdoors as found here, and as they come up, the plants are naturally hardened. I placed the wintersown jugs inside the hillbilly greenhouse for a "double" greenhouse effect. The tomatoes are coming up fine so far! It's my plan to share the extra seedlings with my neighbors through our FB group and maybe the Next Door app.
My father-in-law and I filled the raised beds this weekend. It took four loads of compost in his full-sized Dodge pick-up to do the job.
I’m expecting the compost to settle down around 2-3” this season. This stuff looks amazing! It was full of organic material and ready to feed my vegetables this spring. It did have a little bit of trash in it, but I didn’t mind. One load smelled terrible as we shoveled it into wheelbarrows. We soon discovered that a rabbit had met his end at the hand of the compost-making process. He was tossed away for some scavenging animals and birds to enjoy.
Before the sun went down, I was able to put up my electric fencing to keep Tenacious D from digging in the beds. One of my pre-spring garden goals is to place a 1/2” pvc pipe underground in-between each bed that will carry the electric fence wire so I do not have to worry about inadvertently walking into it and getting shocked. I also plan on re-working my rain barrel system by adding another barrel and extending the reach of the water to the bed furthest away by adding an underground pipe and ball valve at the end. This barrel addition should help as I did run out of water last year in August when the rains stopped for a month. The shed does a nice job of concealing the barrel and I also plan on planting some vining flowers such as morning glories nearby to give it some color. I’m hoping a “part 3” of this project will show a completed electric fence and the water improvements prior to spring planting. If our Kentucky winter keeps behaving like a New England fall, I should be able to complete this project before April 1.
New for 2020 will be raised garden beds. Here's a picture of phase one of the project I'm beginning on my winter vacation.
My plan is to place a mirror bed on the other side of the yard (I'm thinking of doing a 4' width rather than 6' on the other side) with two 4'x12' beds in between the two large ones.
My father in law is planning on coming over after I finish building the beds to help haul compost to fill the beds.
I'm also planning on building some cold frames to begin lettuce, spinach, and other salad crops in for March. Since tomorrow is winter solctice (the shortest day of the year), I plan on doing a bit of winter sowing to experiment.
I'll also be experimenting with Craig Lahouiller's tight germination method with the many heirloom Rutgers I have. I want to see how it works and I have a ton of seed to spare.
These projects are such a valuable thing for me to have as I minister to people and churches in Kentucky. I have a friend who is building a motorcycle on his day off. This is what I do. It helps me get my mind onto something else for a little bit AND I get to see the literal fruits of my labors.
Stay tuned for parts 2 and more!