Living on the edge

You would think I would know better living in Montana for 27 years, but the unseasonably warm weather has me planting like a garden newbie. The way I approach it in my lax gardening style anymore is if it doesn’t frost, I’m ahead of the game. If it does, I buy a few more plants. No big deal. 

As always, the garden plan is different this year. Where I had the straw bale gardens last year, as well as the beds near the patio, I planted ‘Copra’ and ‘Walla-Walla’ onions, plus probably 15 pounds of seed potatoes of all varieties. I have everything in there from ‘Yukon Gold’ to ‘All Blue.’ I decided I can mulch heavily to help me gain an upper hand on the weed situation in this section, since Grant will not let me put the chickens so close to the house. And since I can never seem to have enough potatoes, this should give us a good start on the winter store.

The main garden is where I had the older chickens enclosed last year to take care of the prickly lettuce and other weeds that gave me fits. It’s definitely not weed free, but the soil is fantastic. When I turned under the 3ft.x 6 ft. bed to plant beans this afternoon, John picked up 20 earthworms, and there were plenty left in the clumps of soil. That’s a very good sign.

It’s good to find so many worms. 

Beyond the onions and potatoes, I have 7 tomatoes planted between the greenhouse and the Wall-O-Waters in the veggie garden. We put in 16 ‘Carmen’ sweet, Italian peppers, also in the greenhouse and Wall-O-Waters. Plus there is broccoli,kohlrabi, kale, cilantro, ‘Red Cranberry’ bush beans, carrots, beets, a couple varieties of lettuce, spinach, radishes, peas, tomatillos, ground cherries, and dill. Soon I need to plant cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins. Like I said, everything is going in the ground! 

The goal this season is to simplify everything as much as possible. I have a packed travel/hiking schedule this year, and when I’m home I need to be working and not weeding. So I will mulch and employ the efforts of my eldest (I figure I started weeding gardens at 10 years old, so Sam can, too!) who has a long lists of robotic supplies he wants to buy in order to stay on top of it. He was already tackling the tiny perennial weeds so there just might be hope. And that’s the best part of spring!

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