I am going to do something I have not done for a long time. I am not ordering seeds from any of my favorite catalogues.
This is breaking my heart, but, it is preferable to breaking my neck. Which, it appears, is what I’ve been doing to myself.
I am not giving up gardening, only cutting back. I will sow the seeds I saved from my tomatoes: Italian Heirloom gotten from Brad Stufflebeam of Home Sweet Farm fame, Carbon seeds saved from a shipment from Home Sweet Farm’s CSA back when I was a working shareholder, large Romas, and small and large Slicers. I call them Slicers because I had planted five varieties of “slicers” in that bed and I’m pretty sure they’re as mixed up as I am when trying to decipher my husband’s handwriting.
Got a couple of varieties of pepper, some herbs and greens. Cucumbers. Melons. Butternut and spaghetti squash. Not a whole lot else going in. What’s that you say? You think this is a lot? Maybe I saved a lot more seed than I thought I had. Maybe – you don’t have to spend money on seeds to have a garden. But, and here’s where I steer myself back on track again, you have to grow the dirt to grow the garden.
Cousin Emme Sue always said to put a fifty-cent plant in a five-dollar hole. I have followed that advice religiously. So to build up my soil, the first thing I’m doing is sampling the soil that is already in place. Then I’ll add in the yummy goodness that only compost can bring (My horses’s manure, leaves and kitchen scraps were churned all summer by the chickens and have rested for the past three months, waiting for the time when I break out the front loader on the tractor and dig into the middle of the pile. I have about three yards of compost this year. Should be enough to amend the kitchen garden beds and perhaps have enough left over to fill in that pesky dip in the backyard.
Just waiting for results from the soil lab so I know what to add in addition to the compost. Why would I need to add anything else Micronutrients. Something to raise or lower the pH. Provide balance to the N-K-Ph mix. An excuse to dig in my lovely new dirt?
Sorry — gotta go watch my dirt grow.
Almost planting time!