Propagation Materials for 2014

Propagation Materials Spring 2014

It’s hard to believe that it is time again to start propagating and planting.  This is my 14th year of gardening in my little place in Springfield.  How did the years fly by so fast?  Thank goodness this place gets easier to maintain every year, because I can really feel my age slowing me down. Fortunately,  I have my 16 year old helping me out with the heavier hauling and loading projects now.  Thank you Joshua!  You’ve been a blessing to me in a thousand and one ways!  With all Joshua’s help it’s enough with three months rest time between November and January, so when February gets here and the crocuses and daffodils begin to emerge I once again get excited and look forward to each hour I get to spend outside in the garden.  Every day it isn’t pouring down rain or too cold to enjoy the outdoors, I take the opportunity to meander through the garden, observing each new stage of rebirth and growth, dreaming of upcoming projects and changes I want to make in my garden landscape, and planning for the new growing season.

Last year I was way behind schedule with my propagating, but this year I was on track.  It’s May 4th today and I’ve got most of my propagating done.  I even managed to get several cool weather starts in by the end of March.  That is very unusual for me.  I’ve even had enough time leftover to start on my arbor, fence and gate project near the chicken coop, and that is very exciting.  Anytime I can build something and add new design elements to the garden landscape, it gives me great pleasure.  Someday I hope to have all my projects done and so much time leftover that I can finally focus on garden art and do other things that are more relaxing. Hey, one can always hope and dream!

This year, I wanted to do something different with the soil mix I used for propagating.  Instead of just peat moss, perlite and garden soil, I decided to use the following mix:

Ingredients:

4 parts Nature’s Best from Lane Forest
2 parts peat moss
1 part Vermiculite
1 part Perlite
1 part red wiggler worm castings (a friend of mine gave me a bucket full!)

Directions:

Mix everything together in a big tote bucket and smash all the big pieces.  Fill your container pots, put them in trays, place the trays on racks in the green house, sow the seeds, and water!   Do not let the pots dry out, but don’t over water either.

This Year’s Soil Amendments

To ensure that the vegetable starts get an extra nutritional boost, I mix in a little Nature’s Best just in the spot where the plant goes. If I sow seeds directly into the ground I also mix some Nature’s Best into the existing soil to add nutrients and tilth.  The dirt can get pretty packed down, but my plan is to not till the existing growing areas anymore and to continue to incorporate the Ruth Stout method of layering instead.

This year I decided to deposit a truck load of Nature’s Best into the raised bed I have behind the greenhouse near the neighbor’s shed.  This is what I use for the propagating mixture, starts and sowing.   When that is used up I will get a load of compost for the garden areas that need it.  Ideally, the manure out at Harold’s dairy would be my choice, but with my bad clutch and transmission I’m afraid to go too far out of town with the truck.  The raised bed around the greenhouse always need amendments and extra soil and manure since it gets so much use and can easily get depleted.  When I plant the onions, parsnips, beets, carrots and whatever else I put in there this year, I will add both Nature’s Best and Manure.  This year I’m also thinking about trying out some fish fertilizer.  One of these days I need to test my soil as well.  Maybe later!

 

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