Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Mid-March Trailer Park Homestead Update

Ground has been broken on my trailer park homestead!  I started to poke at the ground a little yesterday to see if it was thawed yet, and before I knew it, I'd dug out about half of the area (okay, maybe it was really more like a quarter, but it felt like a lot!) I'm going to want to put the sunflowers!  I'm not excited to start gardening, not at all!

I discovered two setbacks though.  First, the garden beds I wanted to plant things in first are still frozen solid under about an inch of mud (high quality, dark, rich mud though!).  Seriously, the ground wasn't frozen, but my garden beds were.  Go figure.  I'm not too terribly worried about this though, since I don't think temperatures are supposed to dip below freezing for at least another week, so it should start thawing out soon!  I wasn't going to plant yet, but still!  Last year, I planted carrots on St. Patrick's Day, but clearly that isn't going to happen this year.  *sigh*

The other problem I discovered is that the rototiller I was hoping to borrow from a family member is non-functional.  Hopefully, I'll be able to borrow one from someone else, since I'm certainly not going to buy or rent one!  If not, digging out the garden beds by hand will get me in some fantastic shape for summer and give me something to do before I can start gardening in earnest!  Hmmm....maybe I don't want to borrow a rototiller at all.  Those are some pretty good reasons to not use one, even if it is an option!

On a positive note, I was uncovering worms with just about every shovelful as I was playing in the dirt.  Since we just moved here, I really have no idea what to expect out of this soil (probably should get it tested, huh?), but it seems like that's a really good sign!  I still think I'm going to add tons of compost, if I can get a hold of some for free though.

Back in the rational garden zone, not some crazed lady digging up the yard before the spring equinox, I have some seeds started in the house.  Broccoli and cabbage are both up.  Some of the broccoli is looking a bit leggy to me, but I planted about twice as much as I was figuring on putting in the garden, so I have seedlings to spare if some don't work out.  I started lettuce on Monday, so that should be up in a couple days too.  I use a leaf lettuce variety seed, so I get great salads pretty early in the season.  Yum!
I'm planning on starting my tomatoes and green peppers in a couple more days.  I'm also having thoughts of starting some snap peas in buckets sooner than I had planned.  After all, I can bring buckets inside if it gets too cold outside!  And I love me some snap peas!  They are like candy on the vine!

Oh, spring is calling and I can't wait to get the gardening groove fully on here!


  1. For me, it's the sugar pod peas...they go in salads, they go in stir-frys, they go in stews. I swear, I could almost live on them!

  2. Seeing every post of yours, about gardening, makes me more and more excited to have a food garden this year!!! I am feeling a bit behind, as I have yet to start anything. I am still learning and trying to take in as much information as I can.

    Do you start all of your seeds before planting outdoors, or do you plant some seeds directly in your garden? When starting indoors, do you sprout all seeds in bags with paper tower/napkins?

    I hope you don't mind the questions. I could use as much help and knowledge as possible :) I know we live in two different countries, but you seem to have a lot of good tips and ideas that I am sure are good for anywhere!!!

  3. Oh goodness! Don't feel like you are falling behind because you haven't started yet unless you are in a way warmer climate (which I'm guessing you're not, since I see your profile says you're from Canada)! I'm actually pretty far ahead of most right now. I'm trying to keep on top of things largely because my garden has an audience this year!

    No, not all seeds are started before planting outdoors. Actually, my post titled A Hardcore Gardener's Planting Chart (or something like that) shows which I'm starting indoors and which I'm starting outdoors and when I'm planning on doing that.

    Not all seeds are being started in the bags either, just the ones that I question the germination rates of or want to grow a bit quicker. I'll probably start my tomato seeds like that on Friday, since most of those are from other gardeners, saved from a previous year, but I put my lettuce seeds directly into the soil, since I was confident that they'd germinate fine and I'm not in a huge rush for them to grow, since I'll be harvesting those leaves when they are pretty young anyway.

    I'm always excited to see comments on here, so questions are always welcome! I'm not any sort of gardening expert though, so my answers may be different from the "official" answers! I don't know how many times my mom, a Master Gardener, says I'm doing something "wrong", but my plants usually don't seem to mind, so I go with what works for me. :)

  4. The soil testing service offered by the University of Massachusetts is inexpensive and thorough. You mail them soil samples, and they send back a chemical analysis. Might be worth it, for peace of mind.