Saturday, April 6, 2013

Square Box Gardening #11

Drought Breaking  Snow just in Time

The Drought has been tempered here in South Central Kansas, somewhat.  Unlike last year, the Wheat fields are looking very healthy this year.  Where water usage would have been under tight control this year, we may get a respite from that. At least not as severe as it could have been.  All the ponds in the Flint Hills were almost completely dried up and Ranchers were preparing to carry water to the cattle in tankers if possible.  Hopefully that will not happen. We just received another quarter inch a day or so ago.  We used to call this laughinly "The Monsoon Season" starting in March. Actually, Tornado season has started along with the late snow and recent rains.

I removed most of the Heavy leaf and mulch from my 10 square foot boxes with over-wintered Garlic. I experimented with How Many Garlics Can I Grow in a Square Foot Box just 5-1/2 inches deep!  The first box had about 10, then 20 then about 50 in the 10 box.  If I didn't know better, I would say that every one came up.  They made the winter with flying colors!  With watering regularly and a little Organic Fertilizer and Compost Tea, we will see how they do in Mid Summer when they are ready to harvest.  Can you grow 50 Garlic of moderate size in one square foot box? We'll see. 

The Asparagus that I unceramoniously plunked into the 2 Ft. by 2 Ft  by 7-1/2 inch high box. 4 Square Foot of planting area was a little "iffy".  These were purchased early last spring but never left the 2 inch pots because I had so many other things to do. I just kept them over and finally planted them in the Fall. In the one big box.  About mid February, the soil finally froze under the thick layer of Straw and leaves (See Square Box Gardening # 10). The whispy green fonts had finally died back and the Asparagus had evidentally gone Dormant. Nothing. 

  Around mid March, I rolled a little of the Mulch aside and checked to see what I could find.  The fonts had dried up and were completely gone but here and there were a few thin, pale spears about a half inch high.  So I closed the Mulch of dead leaves and straw back over them.  We had good snows that completely covered the Box over with 8 to 10  inches of snow. 

Near the end of March, just after all the snow had melted, I checked the Asparagus  Box again.  I saw more growth.  Some of the plants seemed to have made it OK.  And I saw more growth.  The soil was not warm by any means, but it was completely crumbly and looked almost Scrumptious - or at least Should Have been appealing to a Plant!. 

The next day I removed all the straw and left just a thin layer of half composted leaves in the Garlic Boxes.  I removed all the outer Straw layer from the the Asparagus and left about an inch of nearly composted leaves over the Asparagus.  So they could get a little sun and wake them up alittle. Less than 3 days later, the snow came again and the Ambient Temperature Outside dropped to below freezing. I crossed my fingers.  Today, I checked everything again.  The Garlics are all 5 to 8 inches tall and growing great!  I pulled back the compost on the Asparagus and there they were, Several new beautiful purple and green asparagus spears nearly 2 inches tall and looking very healthy.  Hopefully, by next week, I can pull most of the composted leaves away as Spring finally takes over!

I am running a race with spring. I am building a new model of what I call my Plant Starter Box.  It's time to start Tomatoes and Peppers.  April 11, I will be 70 years old and I move a little slower than I used to. I'm also working out the stiffness of setting around all winter. My hinges are rusty!  But I have confidence that as the weather warms up and the cold goes away, I will be getting a little more exercise and work out the kinks!

There is no better Exercise than Gardening. In one hour of stooping, kneeling, cultivating, watering, weed pulling; you will work every single muscle in your body. You might even find that you are loosing extra weight and feeling a lot more energetic than just a few days ago.  Try it! NOTE:  Sorry there are no pictures on this post. I have them on my computer, but it died.   I am going to try to resurrect it with a new motherboard.  I am posting this from my wifes computer.  Actually, I have been lusting after a new laptop.  But my Banker won't relenquish. Instead we are going to look around for a new motherboard for the computer purchased in 2005.  Good Luck with that .... Wish me luck!

Why not drop a comment.  Or drop me a private E-Mail.  I love to  hear from my readers and I always try to answer them the same day - Sometimes the same hour if I am not outside piddling around the backyard or in my Garden or working in my garage on a new wood project!  My E-Mail for GrandBob's Garden is

Our "Home Town Market" opens in late June! (Isn't that Crazy?) 
However,  There are several nearby small towns that are opening their Farmers Market in April and May.  I Hope to see you Wichita/Hutchenson Area people soon at one or more markets!  Opening Market  Dates are still tentative.

We can talk Garden and Herbs, and Plants and Stuff. Look for the Guy with the GrandBob's Garden Hat or T-Shirt!

Happy Gardening!


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