Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Group Effort

Tonight the three of us planted tomato seeds--Nyagous, Isis Candy, San Marzano, Gold Medal, and Pink Ponderosa. It was a true group effort, with Nico carefully placing one seed in each tiny soil block. We've come a long way since last year when his "help" was more of a liability than anything else.

We're also hoping the soil block method will be more efficient than past trials. The seedlings that sprout will be transferred to larger blocks, then eventually to the garden or to small pots if they're for giving. Anybody wanna call dibs?

Monday, March 22, 2010


This is how the plot looked on Thursday morning when Mark started spreading all that composted horse poop. My dad even found a horseshoe--a good omen! For a perspective on our insanity, that's the previous owner's garden in the center. Click through for panoramic view.

This is how it looks this morning after about 30 man-hours of working the soil. It may not be an impressive feat of agricultural engineering quite yet, but to us it's a gorgeous, blank, workable canvas. You can see the blueberries at the bottom, and the asparagus and garlic are off-camera to the right.

The alliums and broccoli are still partying it up under their disco lights.

Spring offers us this gorgeous little gem of a pomegranate flower to show us it's serious about its intentions. Still haven't found any of those snowdrops or crocus that everyone else seems to be chirping about.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Making Strides

I'm so exhausted I can barely type this, and I'm not even the one who did the lion's share of the work. Mark spent the last four days spreading 20 cubic yards of mushroom soil on our 50x75' garden plot, then tilling the whole thing using a beast of a tiller and digging holes for 6 blueberry bushes and a trench for 20 asparagus crowns. Mad props to my dad for putting in some serious man-hours yesterday. We were hoping to get the peas planted as well, but as it was we were out there until dusk tonight. I can't believe how the area has been transformed.

Every day it seems like a new box shows up on the doorstep--golden raspberries, fruit trees, blueberries, asparagus. All of a sudden our ambitious gardening plan is becoming real. It seems too good to be true, and in fact it is for Mark, who is his own worst critic.

The weather couldn't have been more cooperative, in the 70s every day and the 40s or 50s at night, practically unheard of for March in New Jersey. At the moment I can even hear a few confused, early-rising peepers in the pond across the road. The forecast is calling for a couple cooler days of rain ahead, which is just dandy for those baby blueberries and will create prime planting conditions for the peas. Garlic is up, albeit just tiny sprouts, but we're relieved since we were worried that we had planted too late for any decent result.

Before and after photos to come after we rise from the dead tomorrow.