Sunday, May 07, 2006

I Can't Live Without. . .

My Cheapie Wet Weather Gardening Gloves!

What is the opposite of being rained out of the garden?
Gardening out in the rain of course.

'Fess up. How many pairs of decent gloves have you ruined because you were just going to do one little thing out in the wet or muddy garden?

These handy dandies are rubber/latex/whatever on the palms, but the top half is made from some kind of breathable stretchy fabric so your hands don't get all slimy and sweaty within seconds of putting them on. They're not completely waterproof, but by the time your fingers start to feel a little soggy, the rest of you is no doubt ready to call it quits anyway.I'm sure there are fancier, more expensive versions available (aren't there always?), but these have held up fine for a couple of years and were under four dollars.

Mini Greenhouse Bed Awaiting Planting

As you can see, guilt (and the fact that I have these gloves) won out over the rain (it was one of those "more than a drizzle, but not quite a downpour" days that can make you feel like a real wimp if you don't get out in it), and I managed to clean out this entire weed filled bed yesterday. (Forgot to take a "before" photo.) After I relocate that wandering Spiderwort (I have no idea how it got there but after three years, it's time for it to go) and spend a few minutes mixing in some kelp powder, calcium sulfate (natural rock powders can work wonders in the garden), a little compost, and probably a few llama pellets into the soil with my trusty hoe, it'll be ready to be seeded with all kinds of interesting greens:

Red Russian Kale (a pre-1885 heirloom that is so beautiful and tasty in salads I've never gotten around to cooking it), more Swiss Chard (amazingly heat tolerant, chard is the secret main ingredient in the summer salads I can't live without), Canton Bok Pak Choy, Chinese Pak Choy, and maybe a little Michihli Cabbage if there's room (doubtful). All seeds are from (I know, I sound like a broken record, but just in case somebody's wondering) Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

And I am actually planning even further ahead. Despite the fact that this is the shorter of the two mini greenhouse beds, I am hoping that the chard won't grow so tall that it bursts through the top--then I will be able to make this my winter salad bed. When temperatures begin to drop, I will simply cover the frame with greenhouse plastic (secured with inexpensive metal clamps) and vent it during sunny days. Because that is the other fantastic secret about Swiss Chard: it is also incredibly cold tolerant. The photo of the thriving, happy plant above was taken two days ago. It survived temperatures below zeroF last winter covered with nothing more than old sheets and a quilt. I have tomatoes planted around it now, but see no reason at all to pluck what is essentially a free bonus harvest out of the ground.

Oh, the joys of tricking the seasons and gardening all year round!

1 comment:

  1. can trick things into growing outside all year round even in sub-zero temps? I'd better not tell my boyfriend -- we're going to go from novice gardeners to year-round gardeners in no time flat!

    Thanks for the blog -- I'm going to enjoy visiting and reading what's coming up in your garden!



March 2013 update: My apologies for the inconvenience - I know word verification is a pain - but I've had to turn it on to help stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I've been getting every day. Thanks for your understanding.

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