Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

November 30, 2009

Planting fall garlic.

Garlic is one of those things that I've never really put any effort into growing. I've planted them in the spring before and got from them a few heads that were smallish and not too impressive . However, I literally only planted some 8 or 10 cloves and it was in my first year of growing so I'm not too worried that I'm garlic growing impaired or anything. Finally this fall I've put a little effort into it and I'm hopeful for next summers harvest. At the $8.49-lb that it cost to buy the other day I sure hope so!

I decided that for this first serious attempt at garlic growing on my little urban farm I'm going to try to use a part of my potato patch that last year was the least producing and at the same time hopefully I'll be able to deter some nuisance pests at the same time. The potato garden at the front of the house is essentially one large raised bed. The area at the outside edge of that bed was not easy to mound up to help the potatoes produce to their best capacity and also made it harder to irrigate. That's where I'm planting the garlic. It doesn't need to be mounded and will make a nice "stinky" border around the bed too.

I'd already "amended" this bed by turning in all the grass clippings that I had used to mound the potatoes with as well as some straw to help break the soil up. I've had good results with this in the past. To further amend the beds now, before planting, I also turned in a good helping of coffee grounds gotten from our local Starbucks "Grounds for the garden" program. They are high in nitrogen and slow to release into the soil so they should really help out next year. Here's what it looked like before turning-in and planting.After turning in the clippings and grounds, I laid out the spacing (around 5" apart) of the cloves. These were specially purchased certified seed cloves, not just garlic purchased at the grocery. Those will grow too, but may not be disease free and if they're hybridized varieties you may not know exactly what you'll get from them.If you've never planted garlic here's the quick and dirty of it. When you buy them you get a full head just like you do in the store more often than not. Just like you would break off a single clove from the head to cook with, you break the head into individual cloves to plant as well. When planting them, the pointed end points up, and the flat part (from where the cloves were all connected) goes down. The cloves get pushed in far enough that the pointed tip is about 2" under the soil.After planting, whether in spring or fall, a good 3-4 inch cover of mulch, you can see here that I used straw, is needed. This will insulate the bulbs over the winter, and will help maintain even soil moisture through the early growth and summer.

It may not be too late to plant where your located. My research tells me that after a first hard freeze but before permafrost sets in is the best time to plant the fall bulbs. I got these in just before Thanksgiving.

Wish me luck! All the best.

November 27, 2009


We are thankful for so many things in our lives. My wife an I have each other, our kids and our families. We have passion for each other and passion for life. I've been blessed to have the opportunity to work for a great company for the last nine years and have recently added A~ to that "work family" as well.

Tuesday of last week we were given another reason to be be thankful...

We were all in the car, and we are all alright for the most part though the boys are very adamant about us "slowing down" regardless of how we're driving and their hearts skip each time we have to stop quickly at all.

I have to say we're really lucky that the damage done was all that there was. As we were going through an intersection in the evening, a 19 yr old kid cut short the corner from the turn lane and tried to make it onto an on ramp before we got there. He didn't make it. Almost, but no. I was able to swerve enough to only catch the back tire of his jacked up jeep but it was hard enough to set off both of our air bags and whack us around a bit. A~ was on the side that caught the brunt of it and smacked her head on the ceiling hard enough to break a few CD's that were in our visor cd-holder. Fortunately, the guys jeep had so much lift and big tires it avoided a lot of contact points, it could have been a much worse accident.

So, now three of us are on ibuprofen and my hip and lower back are killing me and A~ has on / off headaches but hey, we're all here. And we're thankful.

I hope your Thanksgiving was great and that you were able to get together with family and friends, enjoy some great food (hopefully some of your home grown goodies) and relax.

All the best to you.

November 12, 2009

Potting Time (34 Days)

So then, tired of these cloning posts yet? Well, the final phase of the actual cloning process has finished for the most part so you may be in for a break from them.

The roots that had begun to poke out at the time of the last update have come out in force now. The stems of tomato plants that I left in water to root are now well rooted but are beginning to show the signs of nutrient deficiency. The lime green color and yellow and purple hues in the leaves in particular.
Now is the time to get these babies into some soil. I mixed up a basic mix of well screened homemade compost, some leftover peat and some vermiculite and added a bit of slow releasing organic fertilizer to give a nutrient boost to the plants.

You can see this cutting has rooted really well. I've removed it and need to prep it for planting.
All I did to prop the cuttings was to trim off the lower and longer leaves that would just be sucking energy from the plant. I want to make sure the cutting is focusing it's energy on setting roots and growing taller. This kind of excess growth will just delay that.

Here it is ready to be put into the potting mix in one of the pots that I've made sure are clean and ready for planting.

Because of the length of the roots and the stem that has roots growing from it, I decided to use my larger size pot.

I put a small approx .5 inch layer of soil into the bottom of the pot and then held the cutting in the center of the pot while I loosely filled in the soil around it. Using my fingers and by shaking the pot, I was able to get the soil to fill in between the net of roots.

And voila, One down. Now, trim, plant and repeat 40 or so more times and you'll have this...

Actually this is only a portion of the cuttings. There's enough to fill a large table. At least one of each will hopefully make it through the winter.

And that brings me to my next project... heat! I need to find a way to get some kind of heat into the greenhouse. And I need to do it pretty quickly I think. The weather here is turning cold fast!

Any ideas? Anyone have any passive heating ideas? I'm thinking solar gain into some kind of heat sink. Well, at any rate, the experiment is going well so far.
More to come.