Saturday, March 26, 2016

Planting the Early Spring Garden & Biochar

plant sale plants
We got our early spring garden planted on Good Friday.  J tilled the gardens, and we planted yellow onion sets and seeds, potatoes (bought Kennebecs & some of last years Pontiac Reds and Yukon Golds), 2 varieties of beets and carrots, swiss chard, arugula, dill, 3 varieties of lettuce, & kale.  Flower beds were seeded with marigolds, bachelor buttons, celosia, and forget-me-nots.  I'm hoping to have a riot of color greet us along the path to the house.

In the beds we planted potatoes, we first added biochar.  We experimented with biochar a couple of years ago, and were impressed by how well our potatoes did.  Not only were the yields greater where we added it, but it deterred the asian needle ants and sowbugs that tend to want to eat them.

view atop the tractor before tilling in biochar

Biochar has many benefits.  It conserves moisture,  beneficial microbes colonize  and multiply in the char, and it sequesters carbon.  To learn more, follow either of the above links.
after tilling
We also planted three new blueberries and a Rosseyanka persimmon  from a local plant sale in the orchard.  The tomatoes will wait a few more weeks until the danger of frost has passed.  We've used Wall O' Waters for early planting some years, which work really well.   But we haven't used them in 2 or 3 years, and they tend to spring leaks over time and need to be replaced, or sleeves bought for the leaky sections if not too many.  We're not sure we'll get to dealing with that this spring.  It's an unusual gardening year here, but at least we're pretty sure to have tomatoes, which is a definite plus. We missed our window of opportunity with garden peas, and will have to mulch the potatoes more than usual due to late planting, but at least they're in.  How about you?  Have you done any planting?


April said...

Okay, I am intrigued with the biochar!

No planting yet. My garden (a small one next to the garage) is a mess--weeds gone to seed last year that are already up, wasn't tilled or even spaded last spring, and last year was so much rain that the few things I did plant did poorly, to put it mildly. Right now I look at the garden and think "everything has GOT TO GO!" (just like a going out of business sale) and then start again. There are still perennials we wintered over from 2014 that never got moved out of the garden into new beds!! They are now coming up.

Time and energy!

Laurie said...

That's always the challenge, for sure April...time and energy! Maybe you'll find some volunteer vegis along with those weeds? I often find some tomato volunteers. Best of luck with your garden!