Chicken wire tunnels and plastic nursery caddies are garden-stapled down over newly planted seeds to protect them from digging cats and chickens.
Today, on an unseasonably warm afternoon ahead of a storm, I planted cool weather crops such as lettuce, arugula, radishes, onions, collards, beets, carrots and snow peas. And for color and fragrance I put in a cornstalk tepee and seeded in some sweet peas!
I'm hoping the predicted rainstorm will water my seeds because my hoses are still stored in the block barn!
A cornstalk tepee will allow Old Spice flowering sweet peas to climb high.
Last year's Bloody Butcher corn grew on tall, sturdy stalks which, when dried, inspired me to use them as plant supports.
Yesterday, I started seeds indoors that will be planted out when nighttime temperatures are safely above freezing in May. These seeds will be placed under lights to grow until planting out time comes.
Indoor started seeds are tomatoes, sweet peppers, and eggplant. In a day or two I'll start more seeds! I want to try growing stevia and my old standbys for veggie garden color - marigolds!
Late in the afternoon clouds began to gather over my Winter-dormant back garden.
I didn't get all my seeds planted in the raised bed before late afternoon overtook me. In a few days after our storm clears out I'll plant leeks and chicory.
Today I planted about 2/3's of the new cinder block raised bed. A wooden trellis set sideways to support snow peas is seen behind the the cornstalk tepee.
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Can you see the well-camouflaged chicken in my Winter-brown and gold garden?
Researching cinder block raised beds, such as these in the photo above inspired me to make the change in my own garden!
I'm replacing the rotting wood on my old raised bed in the kitchen garden. This big raised bed is six-and-a-half feet wide by twenty-one-and-a-half feet long. These measurements are likely to change because the blocks are wider and higher than the old wood sides I've removed.
I'll have to add additional amendments such as compost to raise the soil level.
Almost three sides of my large raised bed are finished! The old, rotting wooden long-sides of the bed lie left and to the right against the fence in the above photo.
I'm capping my cinder blocks. Eventually I'll use a masonry caulk to adhere them to the cinder blocks to keep them securely in place.
One of the Cottage Cats, Majie, oversees my work from inside the garden bed. Wintering-over leeks occupy the raised bed, too. This spring I'll harvest the leeks' second-year seeds and the leek "pearls" that form beneath the ground around the stalks during their second year of growth.
Unlike the cinder block raised beds in the photo at the top of my blog post, I've decided to add caps to my blocks to make a solid sitting surface for weeding and gathering.
Also, I like the finished look of capping the blocks. I think the caps will prevent the hollow areas of the blocks from being occupied by pests, cobwebs, and black widow spiders.