March 28, 2012


Filed under: Food and Farms — Russ @ 2:00 am


After some shameful procrastination, I’m finally started on my 2012 garden season. My Black Krim tomatoes are now planted in their flats. Those are seeds I saved from last year. (But my attempt to save Black Beauty zucchini seeds was obviously a failure the moment I looked at them. Clearly I didn’t let them dry enough before sealing them.) I’m only planning six tomato plants this year, and all in containers.
As for my plot, I ordered these seeds (all from High Mowing) : Provider bush beans, Midori Giant soybeans, Table Queen acorn squash, Waltham Butternut squash, and Dakota Tears storage onions.
My basic criteria were:
1. All heirloom seeds which I’ll save.
2. Stuff which maximizes nutrition and storage ability (I don’t need to rely on what I grow to supplement my diet, but that day may come, so I wanted to practice for it).
With the soybeans, I also have a so-far vague idea that knowledge of growing non-GMO soy may soon be at a premium. I already see lots of people who go out of their way to find non-GMO soy products, not an easy task.
I may add other stuff later on.
So there’s the basic plan. I worked in the garden for the first time the other day. I weeded it and tended a few out-of-place boards and stuff. After reading several websites I still wasn’t completely clear on what to do with my “green manure” (all the clover I planted last year), so I uprooted it, dug trenches, tore it up, spread it at the bottom, and buried it.
So that’s that for now. I’m looking forward to another good gardening year. 



  1. I think you did the right thing with the clover. Short of renting a tiller and turning it all under, you basically accomplished the same thing manually.

    One of the things that’s catching my interest is trying to raise some unconventional heirlooms that were cultivated by Native Americans in my region. My first go is the vine peach. And I’ve got a Paw Paw tree in mind but I’m not sure I’ll get to that this year.

    Comment by Ross — March 28, 2012 @ 8:02 am

    • Sounds good. Do you think climate change will significantly affect what you should grow, compared to what the local indigenous Americans grew? It’ll vary from region to region, what kind of change we’ll see in temperatures, precipitation, northward flora and fauna migration, etc.

      Comment by Russ — March 28, 2012 @ 11:13 am

  2. Why would something dig up the clover I just buried? Whatever it was could’ve munched directly on it until two days ago. I also buried some eggshells with it, but those too had been laying around on the surface for awhile.

    Comment by Russ — March 28, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

  3. Good luck. I’ve got a lot of heriloom tomato seedlings doing well – even seeds that are three or four years old!
    I’m also doing peppers, and will plan a lot of herbs and beans.

    Beans are great, because they are very easy to grow and easy to store for years…. beans all the way!

    Comment by publius — March 29, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

    • Sounds good! Good luck to you too. I’ll probably add some herbs, and I want to try some flowers as well.

      Comment by Russ — March 29, 2012 @ 7:22 pm

  4. Hmmm, Too bad you didn’t post this before you dug up all that nice clover. 🙂

    Here are some suggestions:

    Read up on permaculture –
    Here’s a great interview with Bill Mollison to get you started… He is a terrific guy.


    Next time, CUT the clover; leave the roots mass in the ground to provide food for your micro organisms and don’t dig.

    Let them worms and other friendly micro organisms in the soil do that for you. Right now they are all recovering from your invasion, sad to say… but they’ll recover – just let them be and keep adding on top.

    Or, next time leave the clover and plant right in it – that works well too. There are some great videos on youtube uploaded by these folks in Montana who call themselves the “Permies” – here’s one on their cover cropping to get you to their stuff:

    In any event it is not the end of the world or the garden to have dug it in, it’s the old school method for all gardening – dig dig dig but the new methods, mulch mulch, mulch are a lot easier and rewarding. 🙂

    Let the garden grow and just keep adding mulches and composts – layer in straw over that green manure.
    Nature has a wonderful way of making everything work WITH everything else – look at the forest. litter on the ground promotes new growth – just the same in the garden.

    Another tip for you: Watch Geoff Lawton on youtube – My favorite book on all this for the backyard gardener is Toby Hemenway’s Gaia’s Garden. It is a treasure trove and you will love it.

    Finally, just remember that every time you dig you destroy soil structure and disrupt those cities and towns of tiny creatures working to build strong healthy soils for you.

    Comment by iheardyoutalking — March 29, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

    • Thanks for the pointers on permaculture. I haven’t had time yet to really delve into it, although the basic principle of working with nature rather than against it is clear.

      Comment by Russ — March 30, 2012 @ 3:27 am

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