Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gardening Today!

One of our neighbors came over and tilled our garden yesterday. I never spent the $2000 extra for a tiller when we bought our tractor so we trade other things for tilling.

The soil worked perfect. LuAnn jumped out of her car and ran her hands through the soil. A farmer has to be proud to have a wife like that!

After dinner we started rummaging through our packets of seed to see what we could plant. It's early but when the soil is right and the weather looks cooperative I plant.

I went to the barn and got the Mule and brought over the tools, garden planter and stakes. She rounded up the seed we picked out and we headed for our new favorite spot on this farm.

I planted 4 rows of Vision sweet corn, while LuAnn planted snow peas, snap peas, a few beans, lettuce, spinach and carrots. Her reasoning took over and limited our length of row for later succession plantings.

How did I know the soil was right?

Grab a handful of your garden soil. If you can form it into a ball, the soil is too wet for planting. (Chances are the seeds will rot.) If it crumbles through your fingers, it's ready for planting.

Here's another soil test. Make a ball of soil and drop it. If the ball crumbles, your garden is ready for seeds. If it holds its shape or breaks into two clumps, it's still too wet for planting.

You can also step into the garden and then step back and look at the footprint you've left in the soil. If it's shiny, there's too much water near the soil's surface to dig and plant. If it's dull, then excess water has drained away and it's time to plant.

Old farmers had an even easier guideline: When the weeds start to grow in your garden, it's time to plant your hardy vegetables. The weeds have been coming for two weeks so I knew it was close.

See an annual Outdoor Planting Table(our zip code is 45146) and check the approximate safe planting days for your area.

Planting time is an exciting one for farmers and farmers-at-heart.

Now we can't wait to taste the fruit of planting but there is lots of weeding and watering to do before then!

I have got to find some seed potato tubers and onion sets on my rounds today!

Happy Gardening!

Ed and LuAnn

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