December 2013

After having added Fox Farm Planting Mix (1 cu. ft./25 sq. ft.), having single-dug, and de-weeded, previously, of course, I sowed the following: two varieties of garlic, “Elephant” garlic, which, evidently, is ideal for roasting whole in the oven, “New York” yellow onions, and leeks. I’ve learned through the years that it’s important to purchase only as many starts as you are capable of planting immediately! (Otherwise, they dry out and go to compost). Just like logging my food intake daily, buying only what I can immediately plant is a work in progress–but, I am getting better!

I transplanted several varieties of kale (from Harmony Farm Supply) behind the lettuces already in Bed 7. Notice the bird netting protecting all of the tender leafy young starts. Without the bird netting, these tender leafy greens would be decimated in no time by the hungry local bird population!

It may not look like much, but more than half this bed is now sown with fava beans, which help fix nitrogen in the soil for uptake by future crops’ roots. The stubs in the background are Jerusalem artichokes (whose roots I’ve already harvested, broiled in the oven, and eaten). Behind the sunchoke stubs are three celery plants (which are finally, after more than a year, starting to come into their own–I wonder if these, too, are biennials?). Behind the celery are a few arugula, broccoli, and brocolli raab–which had to be bird-netted–and, at the very back, are garlic I sowed about a week ago. I did add about a bag of Fox Farm planting mix for the garlic’s and broccoli’s benefit. No soil amending was done before sowing the favas in the bed. I’m going against John Jeavon’s (of How to Grow More Vegetables fame) advice on this, and sowing the favas directly into the growing bed,
instead of sowing them first in a flat, then waiting till I have transplantable starts, and then
transplating the starts into the growing bed. In practice, I’m finding that the amount of time
used up, first, in getting the starts going over several weeks, and then transplanting them, often
ends up in the favas either not being transplanted at all, or being transplanted way too late (i.e.,
months) due to my lack of time/motivation for such a tedious job and, therefore, procrastination. I’m listening to my hubby’s advice, instead, and planting the cover crop directly into the growing bed. Favas are important for replenishing the soil, hence they are being planted where a summer sweet corn crop had been harvested, corn being a heavy feeder. Hopefully, it will rain tomorrow, as predicted yesterday.