Here at Econopocalypse Ranch, we’re going through seed catalogs and having a blast while making our new year’s gardening resolutions.
I’m going to try growing Floriani red flint corn, sorghum, a new variety of cassava, Kebarika beans, and half a dozen other new things. Hopefully this will also be the year my tomatoes work out. Last spring we bought a bunch of heirloom seeds and then had our crop completely destroyed by Aminopyralid-contaminated manure. (I’m gonna keep beating this drum – there’s no excuse for anyone to be spraying these long-term poisons onto the earth!)
This fall I also planted a bed of sugar cane that I hope comes up nicely in the spring. As I reported yesterday, we’ve also dug multiple new garden beds and started on an aquaponics system that should start producing this year.
But enough about me! What are your garden plans and resolutions for this new year?
I've decided that 2013 is the year it gets real. We just ordered about 50 packets of various seeds from SeedSavers and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (hat tip on the Floriani corn–gonna give that a try too).
I'm especially looking forward to lots of double-digging and applying compost tea. I'm also thinking about using less chicken manure in the compost. I've heard accusations from other gardeners that it produces "leggy" vegetables, and sure enough, most of my broccoli is over a foot tall but with sparse growth. Maybe I'll create a separate, much longer-term compost heap for the chicken manure. Unfortunately, the neighboring farm got rid of the cows a couple years ago so I don't have easy access to cow manure, which I think is ideal. Time to get a cow or two of our own!
Also intend to plant lots of nitrogen fixers in various unused parts of the yard, in preparation to turn them into garden beds.
Sounds like you got it right on the chicken manure. It's great stuff for some things, but for others it's contraindicated. Corn, for instance, loves lots and lots of nitrogen. You can hardly give it too much. But carrots will get bitter – and some of the other plants will just put all their effort into growth without giving you the production you desire.
We've been double-digging a new bed every week or so. The backyard is rapidly disappearing. With all the space at your place you'll be able to produce tons.
Pigeon peas have really grown well in our sand… I'm with you on the nitrogen fixers. Probably a thick mix of those and velvet beans across the wasteland of my struggling food forest would be a good idea…
Right–and of course the leafy greens love their nitrogen too. So I will have a "corn and greens" compost heap, and a "fruits and veg" compost heap. BTW, the Ethiopian kale that I planted right next to the peas in a double-dug bed grew at least 2 or 3 times as big and fast as anywhere else.
I,too,have decided this is the year I get really serious about growing as much as I can.Hopefully,this will be one resolution I finally keep….
You can do it! After all, you already built The Great Wall – growing more veggies ought to be a cinch. 😉
A little at a time and suddenly you'll be swimming in abundance. Go for it!