Thursday, January 3, 2013

Square Box Gardening #9

Winter Begins for Real -

 A  Harsh Test for Garlic and Asparagus Starter Plants

Christmas is over.Yesterday was New Years and I managed to live through it All. Today is the first day I have went outside since going to St. Cicilia's -  Christmas Vigil Mass. I came home about 11 am, went straight to bed and woke up feeling queasy Christmas Morning. I fell into a bout of Flu that I Don't even want to talk about for fear of spreading it. 

Today, 9 days later, I tell my wife;  "I'm going to go out to check my Garden."  She looked at me sidewise the way woman do when they are a bit skeptical  "You must be feeling a whole lot better if your talking about going to the Garden. So I put on my heavy flannel shirt. My heavy hoody, my walking shorts and my house slippers and out I went - "shlepping" to my Garden in back.

It looked pretty much the same.  Except it was still covered with a little snow in the shadowy spots. And my lawn chair was turned over since the 2 inch snow a few days ago. Thank God the Jet Stream is staying "up there" in Great Bend or Salina and Kansas City! 

Actually we got off pretty easy compared to everyone else in the area and it was pretty  mild out today with most of the Snow goneCalm. 33 degrees F. and the sun was riding low in the south-west 

And It looked like I had a few minutes of light to still catch a few pictures. If I hurried! So here is a little update on the progress of how my Asparagus starts and Garlic Starts are faring as we start out into 2 full months of Hard Winter January and February.  

 My two large 2 foot x 2 foot
 Square Boxes
The two snow covered mounds are from Back to Front, Asparagus Starts - which I never found time to pull from their pots last spring and needed a place for them to Over-Winter - I hope. And, about 200 Garlic Plant starts that just popped out of the ground wheremissed digging  the parent plant out last fall when I harvested them. On average they should have produced 10 to 15 cloves. These averaged from 20 to 30! That's what I get for just planting what I thought was Elephant Garlic which I got from the Grocery Store! This was from the 2nd generation plants. All I am sure of at this point is that they are Soft-Neck Garlic because they produced no Curlicue ends like Hard-Necked Garlic are supposed to do. That means that these are Braidable Garlic for anyone who is interested.

  I will be giving a few free Garlic Plant Starts away soon to interested folks in Wichita, Peck, Haysville, Derby, Wellington, Whitewater, Eldorado, Newton  Area in the Spring. If you are interested, let me know.  I have about 800 garlic that I don't know what I will do with if they mature as hoped!

 I think I will have something for the Farmers Market [middle June?] this summer.  It opens so late in the season that I won't have any starts to sell there but I should have some nice mature garlic and a few good storys for free. Since I am not allowed by "Town Fiat" to sell plants from my little garden to folks who come to my door, I may start selling some of my Plants over the Internet. I also know of a little town who doesn't believe that Free Enterprise is only for the wealthy. That is $3,000 a Month Leases "Up-Town".

  Asparagus Box Uncovered

As you can see, I uncovered a corner of the Asparagus box first. To see what was happening beneith. Was the mulch doing it's Job through the first few hard freezes and our first real snow. As you can see, the asparagus seems to be comfortable in it's bed so far. The Asparagus Fonts are still alive! I checked the soil. It was not only completely viable and crumbly, at this point it wasn't even Frozen. And it was still moist. So Far - So Good. 

 Garlic Starts in the Small 1 Ft.  X  1 Ft. Square Garden Box

 The Garlic are also looking fine and the soil is loose and moist. No sign of freezing yet. So far everything seems Promising and it's going to be a long 2 or 3 months of weather yet.

 Rosemary and Lavender Herbs

Just to the right and out of the picture, The Oregano is Thriving in the cold. Eventually, knowing how Hardy it is in 6b/7 climate zones, I intend to have a whole 5 x 8 bed full of it.  It seems that Rosemary is almost as hardy.  This picture was taken the same time as the others on this page and they are also thriving in the cold weather. The Lavender - which almost got shaded to death by living next to the Oregano! It survived last winter but this winter after transplanting it to more space, is touch and go.  The herbs have no straw, but are covered with about 6 inches of leaves.  I also tried Ste via which is a perennial but seems to not like our cold and died out rather quickly last fall. I'm thinking, Maybe a better Cover. And I have a few ideas.

Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!





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