08 March 2015

Preparing the bean beds

Taking one of the old salad boxes, cleaning out all but the flat leaf parsley plant still holding on after two years, and transplanted a volunteer fernleaf dill out of it before I cleaned it, added compost, and worked it in with a hoe.  That reminds me - I need a new and better garden hoe.

I also pulled up the three carrot plants and four radish plants ... and was terribly disappointed.  I didn't even bother to snap a pic, just tossed them in to the chickens to at least play with.  I forked the pea/carrot/radish bed, added compost, then hubby and I hoed it in.  Then I mentioned what was left of that small compost pile under the trees would make a good bed if it was spread out to proper size, and hubby got it done while I sat in the shade sipping ice water (at his insistence - "You need a break!").  After that, we switched spots, and I began to rake the leaves into new compost piles that should become beds either for winter planting or next spring.

The compost pile we used was only a year old, but it is also the one I had hubby's friend, "Airborne," stir up whenever he came down to visit last year.  Airborne usually was all excited and happy to be away from the big city, out in the countryside where he knows the food will be great (we always feed him leftovers!) and to hang out with hubby, and even me.  The problem is, he often shows up at sunrise when we are coffee zombies, so I took to pointing him towards the compost fork, or handed him the dog on the leash.  He would joke about a free workout, and I'd joke about him earning his lunch and/or dinner.  So this small compost pile, made up of mostly fallen leaves and a bit of grass clippings, quickly broke down into something very usable for beans.
three bean beds ready to plant
chick tractors in the background
I am planting a "gourmet blend" of garden beans, with one third being a normal green bush bean (Blue Lake) , one third being Royal Burgandy bush bean, and the last third being Mellow Yellow bush bean.  That ought to make for a fun plate.  If they produce well, and I have enough to can up, they'll make awesome-looking jars with the three colors.  I also have a whole package of the Royal Burgandy beans, and another of Dragon Tongue for fun-colored beans other than just green.  Then, I also have asparagus/yardlong beans, sometimes called snake beans, for the summer.

Along with all that, I have two packs of sweet corn, and a variety of summer and winter squash ... hubby wants to try out the "three sisters" planting.  We just need to figure out where we want to put that.  I'm liking the idea of planting in the clear spot in back, while hubby is thinking up front by the road-fence-decorative windmill.  We'll bat ideas back and forth while driving up to get a nice dinner and hit Lowe's for more supplies.

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