Monday, January 17, 2011

Garden Notes for January

Oh, sunshine, how I've missed you! I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon up to my elbows in dirt. Something happens to me when it is a sunny day and I get to dig my hands into the dirt and plant something. I think I turn into a kid again. 

Over the rainy weekend, we passed the time by letting Clay splash in the puddles at The Great Outdoors  (also try Breed & Co. and The Natural Gardener) while we picked out some onion transplants. They promise me that the asparagus transplants will be in soon. 

Clay informed us after watching an episode of Jamie Oliver (who happened to be cooking asparagus) that he would like asparagus in his garden this year. IHe will be disappointed to hear that it will be 2-3 years before we'll be able to harvest much asparagus! Luckily he is distracted by the chickens, broccoli, compost piles and dirt at garden camp, learning all kinds of things to help us in the garden (like the fact that caterpillars take naps in sleeping bags and wake up as butterflies).

Here are a few notes from my garden journal on things to do for January and February to prepare for a spring garden. Our garden is a series of water troughs (so that the dogs stay out of them) that have drip irrigation running through them fed from our rain barrels (which are full thanks to all the rain). 

  • Add compost and fertilizer to garden
  • Plant onion, shallot and asparagus transplants (and more strawberries!)
  • Start seeds indoors or in a greenhouse or cold frame to be planted in March or April (We plan to get quite a few transplants from Johnson's Backyard Garden transplant sale in March and from Breed & Co. Transplants are a little more expensive, but will give you a head start on your garden.)
  • Research organic methods for pest control and companion planting
  • Make a garden plan for March and April planting
  • Build trellis for blackberries and a tunnel for peas to grow over near Clay's playhouse area
  • Find netting for fruit trees and blackberry (the birds stole our figs and peaches last year!)
  • Buy straw at Callahan's to put under strawberry plants to deter pests
  • Check out the AgriLife Extension resources, The Natural Gardener and books on gardening at the library

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