Gardening Diary 2016

How time flies!  Another year and, as usual, I cannot wait until spring to start planting!

January 

Food Storage

The tomatoes we had are all gone now.  Such a shame. We still have carrots, some potatoes and of course hubbard squash.  The bears cleaned out the chest freezer last fall, so we did not have the food I had planned for snacks through the winter.  The 9 cherry pies, the gallons of dried cherries, peaches, frozen tomato sauce, compound butter....  all went to help the bear make it through the winter.  On a positive note, I did not have to excerise for the pounds gained from the cherry pies!   

The carrots were stored in sand.  We would bring them in, wash them and put them in water in the fridge.  They were fantastic, and still are!  But I think I will try some in straw next year to make the cleaning process easier. 

Greenhouse

I created an inner greenhouse with my granddaughter Autumn last fall.  We added a 'door' of pvc which really made my life easier through the winter.  The humidity was to high, the temps to low.  The temps stayed at 35 to 40 so far, with one major sad dip.  I left the inner greenhouse door open.  The plants made it, but they never did truely recover 100%.  Note to self:  Add a spring to the door to make sure it always closes. I really need to find a way to lower the humidity.  At least I have identified my summer research project!  That way I can get what is needed in place before next winter.  

Lettuce was fair, and would have done better if I had had a cold loving variety.  Swiss Chard was FANTASTIC.  Grew like a champ, no aphids...  definately on my list for next fall.  The peppers are alive, but barely.  It is way to damp in the greenhouse and to cold for them.  It would have been nice to have more beet greens through the winter.

The lady bugs in Sept were fantastic.  I have some aphids but not many.  There are still lady bugs out there munching away.  And I did not have to spray.  Definately something I will repeat next year.

Planning

Last year I found my rain gutter gardening was so much easier than my old fashioned garden.  Water was a huge issue.  There were several times when we did not have water in the irrigation ditch at all.  At one point I decided to let the garden die, only to have it finally come in and rain. Although I had a garden, it was not much of one and my heart was not in it.  I have the sad feeling it will be there year as well.  So....  my goal is to create a garden that uses the minimum amount of water and of course the least amount of energy for me.  Since the plants will be in buckets I am working on making sure we have enough buckets to cover what we need for the year.

My short term goal is to lay out a plan for the garden and create the pipes and buckets I will need.  I already have started on the buckes.  I have about 20 2 gallon buckets already drilled and ready to go.