Friday, April 5, 2013

Fertilizer Friday: Out of Room!

Think I can cram 15 more flats into Vicki's greenhouse but that's about it...We are out of room. Have about 30-40 flats at the Oakland Co. Greenhouse that need to find a home somewhere. I think it is time I bite the bullet and put stock outside. We have a big shipment coming in from Walters Gardens the week of the fifteenth and I hope most of it can be hardened off under frost cloth. Told Pam we'll probably be potting outside that week at my house.

We also plan on building the raised garden beds that week. Have saved a bunch of cardboard to go under the beds to smother the grass. Was going to rent a tiller and tear up the grass, but this seems like an easier -  and cheaper idea. The cardboard will rot down and eliminate the grass and weeds but in a season the soil below will be available for the plants. Hope to get cedar 1x6s for the raised beds. Will be stacking them 2 high for a total of 12" off the ground. I'll also need to call around and get some soil trucked in for the beds.

We have greens ready to go. Was informed this week that according to Mich. Dept. of Ag policy I cannot sell cut and bagged greens. The rule is you have to cut them just at the base of the plant. Not good if you are growing a cut and come again style of greens. I suppose I could offer a big bag of lettuces and mesclun and have people help themselves by the bag, but it all seems like too much trouble. We'll just save the harvest for ourselves.

Paul is getting set to grow some stock and produce for me. He is currently working for an organic farmer, but he has an old truck he is trying to get back on the road so he can do side jobs like tree work and hauling mulch. I really want him to do well this summer, he hasn't had a truck in years and I know he is so ready to get his fixed. Have some statice and other flowers for drying that I think I'll give him to grow and some of the flats with the floppy greens in them that wouldn't be up to snuff for the market. Home Depot has a great deal on seeds this week, buy one get one free - so he is getting set to get some veg seed for his garden.

Starting two new markets this week. I'll be at the Royal Oak Farmers Market on Friday from 10am to 4pm and then at the Old Winery Farmers Market on Saturday 9am - 2pm. Both of them are known for their fairly good foot traffic and I'll probably be one of the only vendors with plants. More cyclamen haven't popped yet for the market - was hoping to get a couple more. Gave a couple to Pam and one to Vicki in hopes they'll trial them and see how they grow as a houseplant. How long they'll last and if they'll bloom in inside light. Got to start the cyclamen much earlier next year - maybe late November or early December for early spring and late winter bloom.
Water droplet on Kale

Pam and one of the greenhouse nasturtiums.
The nasturtiums in the Oakland Co. Greenhouse are immense. I hate to think we'll just have to yank them out in 10 days. They have been really great at providing color, leaves and a structural interest along the edges of the beds. I can see these plants hanging over a wall, in a basket or rolling down a hill. Would be beautiful.

The greens there are beautiful and have kept us with a bounty of salads and rich, nutritious green stuff throughout the winter. What a great experiment for us. I don't know if I'll be renting another bed next year - think I'll be growing most of the stock in our own greenhouses.
Mummified greens under Reemay

This is a shot of the protected baby lettuces, arugula and mesclun mixes under a blanket of Reemay cloth. For those of you who might sew - it is the same stuff as "Pellon" - a spun-bonded fiber cloth. It is supposed to give a few degrees of frost protection to the plants and so far it has worked. The low temperatures look like they're moderating quite a bit, so I think we can put out some more tender stuff with the frost cloth over it.

Well that's the news for today. Am joining the party over at Tootsie Time for fertilizer Friday again so check out her blog and the others that join in. Thanks for dropping by!

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