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Saffron Prep – The Bed

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We’re trying Saffron again! The first round was a few years ago and it didn’t survive the chickens. I ordered 100 saffron crocus bulbs from Fedco, the ordering deadline is August 15th so hurry up if you’re in the market for some!

This time we’re planting it in it’s very own bed that’ll be over-planted with direct seeded annuals during the summer. Saffron crocuses bloom in the fall and the whole show takes place September-November. The bulbs are set for delivery after Labor day so the bed will be empty until then and leaving soil open is never a good plan so we’ll be filling in with a cover crop for now. The crocus won’t mind and a frost killed annual is the perfect bedfellow. No digging means no viciously murdering disturbing the bulbs with a shovel.

4x4 Perenial Veggie Beds
The box is 4×4 and will be placed next to the other 4×4 boxes we have set up for perennials in the vegetable garden. In the far corner of the garden I have a large L-shaped bed of asparagus, a 4×4 currently planted with leeks (it was strawberries but they didn’t survive the neglect, next year it will be horseradish), another 4×4 with Jerusalem artichokes and finally the new bed.  You can see the JA behind Alfie and the new bed behind that one. This one will have 1/2 hardware cloth across the bottom, the others don’t. It’s basically a giant version of the DIY Compost Sifter so I won’t rehash those instructions. [Read more…]

DIY Compost Sifter

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I’ve been digging up our severely overgrown garden beds. So far I’ve managed to overhaul 3 of the 4*16 foot beds (the last one is 3/4 full of garlic). Considering they were all filled with waist high weeds it was quite an undertaking! I spent a lot of time picking out rocks, roots and hard clumps of clay before I decided to make a soil screener or compost sifter.

DIY Compost Sifter with 8+ #Garden Uses
It’s easy to make, especially if you have some fancy tools. AND there are a bunch of uses, since the hardware cloth comes in a roll you might as well make a few.

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Mulberry Trees

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When we moved in we were lucky enough to get a giant rhubarb patch, 5-ish grape vines and two mulberry trees. I was really excited about the first two, not so much with the mulberries. All I could think was “I guess I’ve got something to chase a weasel around…” After living with the two trees for a few summers I can confidently say they’ve won me over.

Fresh Mulberries

As it turns out the two trees are worth a lot more than their place in nursery rhymes suggest. Unfortunately they also have a few negatives, but in the long run I think they’re totally forgivable. Since we didn’t plant the trees I don’t know what type they are but I do know we get tons of purple/black fruit each summer.

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Keep Your Raspberries Under Control

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Technically this isn’t the time for pruning raspberries (major pruning is best done late winter/early spring).
But if you find your self in an over grown patch of berries I’d like to give you some tips.

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Give your Tomatoes a Strong Start

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It seems like everywhere I go I see tomato plants.
I told my self I wouldn’t be growing tomatoes this year, we don’t have the garden space (yet) and there are several places around here with U-Pick tomatoes.But then something in the air (anyone else love the smell of tomato leaves? Smells like summer to me!) made me bring home these guys:

A six pack of Roma Tomatoes.
A little leggy but nothing hard to fix.

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