April 21, 2009

the old tangled kitchen garden

The robins are back, preening themselves up on the power line and poking around for worms in my house garden, the kitchen garden: the old multi-layered archaeological site around the house, where generations of people have grown food, buried scraps, and lost trinkets. which unearth with my fork as I shake loose couch grass root and loosen up soil.

When I moved here in May last year, I had my hands full with plowing and cover cropping the soil, which was old sod, for this year's garden; dozens of other projects (new waterline, repairing old rooves, fencing for the cows, etc) kept me from much work in the kitchen garden. Having a season to observe whats happening in a very old, ovegrown garden is a good thing; there are many treasures there like four variety of grapes, including a very tasty, small, rosy coloured mystery, which have propagated themselves copiously. There are egyptian onions, iris, chives, oregano, lavender, spearmint and gooseberries and a catoniaster that has entwined itself with loganberry in a into a huge tight ball of tangle. Raspberries have forged ahead everywhere, as has queen Anne's lace and yarrow.

I've pruned the grapes well back and am rebuilding the trellis. I composted and mulched, clipped, cleaned and mowed the 20 by 8' intof raspberries into semblances of order. Its raining today after three days of sunshine and its a good day to untangle the catonia-disaster.

I did manage to lay compost down in a third of my new garden (about an acre) and planted: mizuna, tatsoi and arugula, tri-coloured radish, japanese salad turnip and spinach. Beets and ruby chard are up in a bed in the hoophouse. I'll post pictures and write about my main garden later today.

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