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A Tale of Two Turnips

turnips

 

Let me share with you a dumb-ass rookie gardening mistake I made this past fall. This is something that I should know better by now…but for some reason it just didn’t click in my brain.

Take a look at the two turnips above.

One has an awesome, cialis buy plump root and the other has a small, cialis buy skinny root .

One was sown in a bed that had peas and fava beans grown in it earlier in the season. One was (accidentally sown) outside of the bed in the walkway.

Care to take a guess as to which turnip was grown where? I’ll tell you: The awesome root turnip landed OUTSIDE the garden bed when I planted these seeds, and as a result, the root bulbed out because the soil IN the garden bed had WAAAAAYYYY too much nitrogen.

Why? Because legumes, like the the peas and fav beans are nitrogen fixers. This means they bring in a lot of nitrogen from the air and store it in their roots. This is perfect for plants that are heavy feeders like corn and tomatoes, or for plants that are leafy, like lettuce. Too much nitrogen in your soil is not awesome for fruiting. You will get great greens, but your beets, radishes, turnips…whatever will suck.

This is especially relevant for those who have soil trucked in for raised beds, which I did.  In my case, when I built my garden, I had used a combination of topsoil and mushroom compost. This combo was super high in nitrogen thanks to the compost.

Last year I added bone meal and wood ash before I planted anything to add potassium and phosphorous to help balance things out, and it helped. I actually got some radishes. However, I didn’t even THINK about the fact that I had a high-nitrogen bed when I chose to plant the turnips.

I came across a little mantra a few years ago that I filed away in the “I’ll check that out later” folder in my brain: “beans, fruits, green, roots”. This is a simple little crop rotation reminder. The crops are basically planted in order of their nitrogen use.

So…I’m going to rip out the turnips and use the greens for something, then plant potatoes in this bed, since they are a member of the nightshade family (like tomatoes) they are technically a fruit.

Gardening is a lot harder than I ever thought it would be…but I still love it.

The Front Yard Project

Here’s a little progress update on the the grand Front Yard Project. We (mainly Jefe) have been busy tearing out the chainlink fence that was crushed by a tree that fell during an ice storm a few years ago:

yard_fence

It’s a mess. There was a TON of blackberries and weeds we had to take out. Not to mention trees that actually grew THROUGH the fence:

treeFence

It’s a lot of work! I still don’t know if we are going to build the new fence ourselves, cialis canada sovaldi sale or hire it out. We got a quote and…OUCH! I am of two minds about this: we would save so much money if we did it ourselves, but if we hired it out it would DONE in a week and we wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore.

Aside from the fence, one of the first projects in the Front Yard I am going to tackle is converting the ditch in the front to a bioswale, or rain garden. Here’s the ditch:

bioswaleTo give you some reference it’s about 75 feet long. The first thing I am going to do is solarize the grass and weeds with black plastic. It’s going to look like crap, and I am a little embarrassed, but then I have to remember that our yard has looked trashy for years, so what’s another month or two, right?

The landscape designer I hired last year came up with a list of plants for the bioswale that I am starting to source. In order to save money I am trying to start as many as I can from seed, which so far isn’t going all that well. I decided to try the winter sowing method using old water jugs that are turned into mini greenhouses. I planted these back in January and only one has sprouted so far.
wintersowingjugsHere are the jugs! Not all of them are for the bioswale specifically. Only the Elks Blue and Slough Sedge.

SloughSeedlingsAnd only the Slough Sedge has sprouted. These plants are suited for wetlands and will be planted in the bottom of the swale because…well…they can handle water. Variegated golden sweet flag, which is another pond/bog plant will also be planted. I actually found some of these at my local Lowes but I haven’t purchased them yet. Also on the list and not purchased yet are dayliliies, which will be planted higher up on the slopes. The other plant I am trying to start from seed is Juncus patens ‘Elks Blue’, another grass suited for wet places like rain gardens. I bought more seeds this week and am going to try going the traditional route of starting them under lights since they don’t seem to like the jug.

And…last but not least…a landscaping strawberry will be planted along the top edge on the street side. I actually have some of these in my back yard I think I can just transplant. Every little bit helps!

2016!

I love the new year! I love the idea of a blank slate, viagra sales buy cialis “let’s start fresh!” flush the toilet of the past year mental state. It works with my love of planning and list making. So…here is what my potential 2016 Plan looks like:

Sew more…or, generic more accurately, FINISH what I sew.
Photo Jan 05, 7 18 44 AM

Seriously, people. I have FOUR dresses just needing to be hemmed. And a jacket. I guess I hate hemming, so I’m going to work on that. Part of this action item is also about stash busting and not just buying, buying, buying more fabric.

Frame art
Photo Jan 05, 7 20 01 AM

It’s so expensive! That’s been my excuse so far and I’ve got some funky sized stuff, so I either need to bite the bullet and pony up, or figure out how to DIY it. I actually have a lot of house things I need to do this year. I need to continue with the repainting of rooms and we also need new carpet for our stairs and second floor in THE WORST way.

Landspace the Front Yard
frontyard

Our house looks like a crappy college rental from the front and it’s super embarrassing. I’ve been focusing in other areas of our giant yard and the poor front yard has been seriously neglected. Last year I hired a landscape designer to come up with a plan, and this year I am going to start implementing it. I see a summer of sore backs ahead…

Ramp Up My Fitness
I started experience insomnia after my Monday evening yoga class this summer, which was both really weird and really shitty. The insomnia also put a wrench in my morning workouts and it’s taken a few months iron it all out and get back on track, and I’m still not quite back to normal. So…instead of yoga on a Monday evening I’m going to take pilates on a Saturday morning. I actually just started a class yesterday, so YAY me!. Off to a good start. My abs are so sore right now.

Food
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My food goal for the year was going to be to finally learn how to make my own pasta. I got a Kitchen Aid pasta attachment for Christmas and we made ravioli on New Year’s Eve so…technically I need to new food goal. Jefe bought us a sous vide contraption for Christmas which we used to make ricotta for the ravioli, so…food wise 2015 went out with a BANG! To be honest with you I’ve sort of lost cooking inspiration and desire this past year. I’ve been trying to eat healthier (pasta attachment might not have been the best option) and most of the time I just want something easy.

I’m feeling super energized and excited for what 2016 has in store for me!