Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Square Box Gardening #8

Square Box Gardening #8
 Putting the Garlic and Asparagus to Bed for the Winter

Top Left - Asparagus Bed in 2 X 2 Ft. Garden Box. 
Lower Left - New Garlic Plants in 2 X 2  Ft. Garden Bed. 
Far Right-Top to Bottom line of  1 X 1 Square Ft. Garden Boxes filled with new baby Garlic.

Just a few days ago, Monday, December 10, we got our first killing frost. Fortunately, I had already laid down a thin pre-mulch layer of leaves weeks ago when it was still warm. About the middle of November.  The Asparagus' were put in the Large 2X2 box as a temporary measure to hopefully get them through to next spring when I can put them in a permanent bed.  There are about 250 small Asparagus plants in this box and I will be happy if most of them make it through to spring. Then I can put them in a permanent spot.  These Asparagus were bought last spring but I never had a chance to finish planting them. Therefore, I give them a temporary home in an experimental Square 2 x 2 Ft. Garden Box. This Box is  designed much like the 1 - Ft. Garden Boxes..Just a bit bigger to hold more plants. It's also a little deeper for deeper growing plants.

This is the Mulch Sandwich that I made  to protect the plants in these boxes, hibernating through 3 months or more of Winter. 

1 In Early November, I lay a layer of leaves between each plant in the boxes. 

2. About a week ago, with the weather cooling considerably after a mild frost, I put on a 4 to 6 inch layer of straw on top of the first leaf layer. Straw is A good mulch with lots of Air space for insulation, But it doesn't protect against frigid winds much. As I finished the boxes, I then asked my neighbor for his 5 big bags of leaves.

                           Winter Blanket Layers for the Large Baby Asparagus Garden Box.

3. I then put a 2nd Layer of Dead leaves completely over the top of the Plants and completely around the open outside parameter of all the Garden Boxes.

The Asparagus and Garlic Boxes hopefully have been safely tucked away for the winter.  About March - next spring, the small plants will come out of Dormancy and start to grow again. I will be checking for pale white spears coming up again through the first layer of leaf mulch.

As the weather becomes warmer and warmer, I will pull back the mulch that hasn't completely composted through the months of December, February and March and  put it on the compost pile. I will add a small amount (1- Cup) of composted, purchased, cow manure across the top of the soil.
 [ Never use fresh manure. You might substitute a 1/4 Cup of Alfalfa meal here instead - for health reasons if you don't want to use Sterilized Cow Manure. Purchased from your local garden store.] 
Alfalfa Meal is very strong in Nitrogen in comparison to cow manure. That's why I am only using a 1/4  cup of Alfalfa Meal..I will stir it in slightly with a Garden Trowel or Hand Rake, water the Garlic generously and watch the Garlic grow.

When My Asparagus Bed is ready, I will transplant the Asparagus and probably plop in a Cabbage in each of the large beds. The require plenty of room and this size works well. I will Put a small chicken wire fence against My preannual Garden Rabbit. And watch my Garden Grow. I don't know if you noticed, but there are several plastic easy chairs strategically placed  for easy sitting and contemplating the squirrels running back and forth on my backyard cable wires.

About May first, I will be filling the extra plant boxes with new Tomato Plants from my nursery and then, about the middle of May, finish off with a bunch of Climbing Cucumber Pickle plants. One to a Square Foot Box and set them close to 30 ft long Rope and Post Trellis.  I should be finished putting my spring garden in about 1 or 2 days.

 To those that think that the Square Ft Garden Boxes might be heavy, they each weigh about 15 pounds when damp. About the weight of a woman's small hand bag... ;-)  I am nearly 70 years old and I can do all the work because the soil is light. I don't have to dig up a garden space. I don't even have to mow even though my Garden Boxes are setting on lawn grass. I decided it adds beauty to my garden and it's nice to walk on. I only have to use a Weed-Wacker to clean around the Outside of the boxes 2 or 3 times during the season. Total time about an hour.  The rest, I hit with an small electric mower when I feel like it. Another hour 2 or 3 times a season

 Once you have the Square Garden Boxes and fill them with soil the first time, you can pretty much relax the rest of the season. Rarely a weed or grass root invades these boxes. Be sure to buy a few cheap lawn chairs to sit back and enjoy a cold one or two - Tea of course.

See how all this works in my Simple Square Box Gardening Articles. So far #1 thru 6 with maybe a whole lot more to go.

 Thank's for stopping by at GrandBob's Garden again. If this is your first time, drop a short note in the Comment Section below and tell me what you think about this new idea in gardening. Or send a private e-mail to the address below. See the very bottom of this article.

First article of Square Box Gardening and How to Build Simple, Cheap Boxes:

And a Merry Christmas to all my Garden Friends and a Happy New Year!


You can contact me at :
GrandBobs Mail

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