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Premature garden bragging

OK, OK, tempting fate. But like a good Mainer I'm planting on Memorial Day weekend. This photo is full of win:

At the top, sheet mulched tomatoes. Winnitude because this year I laid down the sheet mulch -- seafood compost, newspaper, straw, right on top of last year's sheet mulch -- and then punched holes in it to plant the tomatoes. Last year, I planted the tomatoes first, then mulched around them, because I hadn't figured out that I can just order straw from Blue Seal, instead of finding a farmer, arranging for a car... That was much more inefficient, and I also lost the benefits of the mulch for the couple of weeks it took me to get my mental processes in gear.

Along the center, the famous woodchuck fence. If not full of win, it is at least not yet full of loss, since the woodchucks have not gotten over or under it. (Which reminds me; I need to go out this evening and piss along the fence. Not the entire fence, of course; this is a staged, multi-phase process.)

And at the bottom, the truly massive win: Thick white clover I planted last year that came up strong this spring. Notice anything that's not there? Weeds. The clover is so thick that weeds can't even get started. And weeding is work! Also, surrounded on all sides by thick clover is new growth: I seeded red clover into the bald spots, and it takes about three days to sprout. Final wins are returning nitrogen to the soil, and attracting pollinators when the clover flowers. Amazing stuff!

And speaking of pollinators, the honeysuckle looks like it's going to flower this year, unlike last year:

So, more win. In fact, something about the straw seemed to attract pollinators today: Several bumblebees, some yellow jackets, and even a Tiger Swallowtail!

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Submitted by lambert on

... I keep mixing up "mulch" and "compost" because my "sheet mulch" has a compost layer. (On sheet mulch, this is the idea, though I didn't use the exact layering technique.)

Seafood mulch/compost comes from fish processing plants on the Maine coast. Most commercial compost up here comes ultimately from "municipal solid waste" and when you buy it, you're also supporting an evil landfill operator.

UPDATE Oops, I did say "compost."

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Submitted by jjmtacoma on

I really need to! I have a raised bed that needs fresh compost and I have a TON of work to do at the community garden.

I guess I'd better get to it rather than sitting here chasing links. Arg!

Green onions and zuchinni worked great for me last year, so I plan to do more of them. I have found a site with instructions for freeze drying green onions, so I think I will try that to have them last longer. I also plan to freeze peppers this year for soups during the winter.

Have you tried a potato tower? I'd like to try that this year, but I am behind from weather delays.

Submitted by lambert on

Because IIRC the idea came highly recommended from a taxi driver.

The technique didn't work for me, but I think that's because I started out with mounds, and then added a tower. I think this confused the potatoes, and so they didn't grow toward the light (up) but just stopped. Tiniest potatoes you've ever seen!

So, the recipe didn't work, but then I didn't follow it, either.

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Submitted by jjmtacoma on

in the community garden. She was able to donate something like 40-60 pounds of russet potatoes to the food pantry at the end of the summer. I think it had 4 plants in the tower and I don't know if she kept any. I also don't know what would be typical yield for a potato plant.

I was thinking about trying the Sunset tower in my yard because they look less rustic than the wood frame variety, so less likely to generate my neighbor's ire. I have a street behind my house and covenants for property use - so I can't have any fun!