Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Garden Plan Done
"January is the quietest month in the garden. ... But just because it looks quiet doesn't mean that nothing
is happening. The soil, open to the sky, absorbs the pure rainfall while microorganisms convert tilled-under
fodder into usable nutrients for the next crop of plants. The feasting earthworms tunnel along, aerating
the soil and preparing it to welcome the seeds and bare roots to come."
- Rosalie Muller Wright, Editor of Sunset Magazine, 1/99
At first glance, it may seem as though there is no life in my Maine garden in winter.
This years garden plan is done, at least on paper.
After hours spent researching, planning, drawing and making lists I have a plan.
This year there will be eight raised beds , two will be dedicated to herbs.
I prefer raised beds, because the soil warms quicker, remains warm longer, and this method provides better drainage. Although we have a good sized lot , we have a lot of ledge and limited space that is easily accessed by the water supply and full sun. The raised beds will be located by the front paddock and my fire pit, one of my favorite places in the yard.
In addition to the raised beds we will have a large sunflower garden, pumpkin patch and potato bed.The potatoes will be grown under mulch hay.
I have been reading about winter gardening , in unheated houses. The book has been very informative, and I am encouraged that the Author is from Maine and gardening year round in zone 5.The Winter Harvest Handbook by Eliot Coleman http://www.fourseasonfarm.com/
I am really wishing I did not fill my hoop house with garden supplies at the end of the out door growing season. I have to shovel a path and clean inside the hoop house so I can try my hand at winter gardening. Currently I am growing micro greens and sprouts in the house.
The land that will be home to the raised beds is currently under snow, as is the rest of the yard. The weather station is promising an additional storm for Tuesday evening, into Wednesday.
Plant life is not the only life in the winter garden. Winter is a great time to observe and appreciate animal life.My bird feeders of full with activity . Snow cover makes some animals easier to see. The red squirrel I have seen scurrying through my woods in winter is probably there in summer, too; but its sleek red coat is very visible against the white backdrop of winter snow.