It's February - and I planted a garden! This is the month for starting seeds, right? With last year's seed starting experiments in mind, I spent some time messing around in the greenhouse during the rainy weather we've been having. It's nice under that dome of plastic on a drizzly and cloudy day.
If you remember, I spread all the old hay and straw that the goats had slept on last year over the ground inside the greenhouse. The goats dedicated much of their time to generously fertilize this this material, so I was careful not to waste all their hard work. I soaked the bedding a few times in the late winter, just to make sure there was moisture enough for the microbes to do their job of breaking all those organic particles into something recyclable by plants. We used the greenhouse for chicken plucking too, so the ground is decorated with white chicken feathers.
There's about three inches of beautiful and dark crumbly stuff, which was fun to rake into a pattern to create a garden of greens.
I settled on a floral wheel pattern for this first garden attempt. I walked in a big circle, and reached toward the center with my fork, and pulled furrows in the hay to plant my seeds in. I'm determined to give myself and my plants more room this year. I want more room between the plants, and more room for me to navigate. I want to be able to raise some greens and be able to see each plant so I can better manage the bugs that come with organic gardening. If I have spend time on my knees squishing bugs, then I want to give myself more room to work. I think I'll aim for less produce in more space, so I can allow myself the time and room to take better care of them. It's a theory, anyway.
I planted something different in each spoke of my wheel - beets, spinach, lettuce, radish, swill chard, and kale. I didn't take any notes about which spoke has which plant, so I'll have to rely on my plant identification skills.
Look! Is this a baby lettuce?! It's only been a few days, but I think maybe I already have my first garden plant!
It will be a few months before the outside garden is ready to plant, but to get prepared, I've put the chickens to work clearing out the old garden. I sprinkle their food inside the garden fence, and leave the gate open. They scratch and dig looking for their breakfast, so I'm hoping they will clear the ground and prepare a nice seed bed for me before planting time.