Short season gardening.

My friend Cedar posted about gardening with limited space, Tiny Garden, Big Yields.  I’m envious of her obvious skills. I’ve mastered making dirt, so far.

Here in Maine, I’ve got lots of room but a very short season. I’ve been experimenting with makeshift green houses in an effort to overcome this problem. There are advantages to bugging out to Maine that outweigh the climate, but I’ll save that for another day, except to say, it’s a great place to grow grandchildren.

Anyway, here is a temporary set up to test a house-attached green-house.  It was a porch roof but the snow wouldn’t shed due to the change in pitch and it was tearing up the steel roofing, so I’m taking it down.  I stripped it to the rafters and covered it with plastic. It’s working great so far. Thirty-plus degree differential when the sun’s out.

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This is mostly tomatoes and peppers. Cukes in the big pots. It seems to be working. I’ve got sprouts.

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It’s warm enough to plant some things outside: peas, beans and greens. This is a round garden. I guess I need some close-ups, so you can see what’s what.  In the middle is the pea dome and to the right is a hoop house for the peppers. I’ll cover it in the fall in an attempt to get them to ripen. I love hot peppers but they need a longer season.  I lost my first successful crop last year. It was huge, but I left them too long and they froze and turned to mush.  :o(  The black spot on the front edge is sweet corn in a pile of composted manure.  I’m not much of a gardener yet but I’ve got composting down pat and the chickens make a ton of shit if you have a strong enough stomach to compost it.  More on that later.

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Mia’s flowers are coming up. You can see the remains of the chimney from the old homestead in the background, behind the baby tree house.

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This was my first garden, so it has the best soil.  Peas, beans and greens in it so far. The peas are sprouting but nothing’s up yet.  Hoops for the fall.

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This one is out in the field, fenced to keep the deer out, but I haven’t put anything in it yet.  It needs a lot of work, poor soil still.

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This one is up against the house. The lettuce is up along the back. Parsley and basil in the front

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Various squash in buckets. Squash is a pita. It spreads out over the garden or the yard, depending, and gets in the way of everything else.  I haven’t decided where to put them yet.

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This is my hugelculture, though it’s hard to see. I’ve got maize and beans along the front and a row of hot peppers directly seeded near the top.  We’ll see how they do.  A hugel is a pile of punky wood with the bed over the top. It’s supposed to be drought resistant, which will be nice if I have to garden without power for the water pump. I haven’t tested that aspect. I water it. It was kind of hard to get a good bed going. the dirt kept trickling down, but it’s settled pretty well this year (3rd year.)  Weeds in the manure at the top.

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Well that’s all I got.  Pretty pathetic compared to Cedar’s efforts, but I’m learning. It’s a long road ahead to self-sufficiency. Let’s hope the zombies hold off for a few more years.

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About mobiuswolf

Aspiring writer of Zombie fiction.
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8 Responses to Short season gardening.

  1. Hey, if you can make dirt, then you’re golden. I’ve been reveling in the rock-lessness of the Ohio soil where I’m at, and the (for me!) long growing season. Moving from zone 2 to zone 4 to almost zone 7 has been, well, terrific for my gardening.

    Hugelculture beds are cool. I want to establish some when we settle down, I’d done some small-scale experiments at the Farm, I wrote them up somewhere. Also, if you’re interested in a small geothermal system for a high tunnel, Dad and I put one in his. Looks like you have a great garden started. I know how hard it can be to deal with the colder climate and shorter season. You need different strains of common plants and veg, and planning like you’re doing to start indoors and move outside. I should probably write some of what I know down, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    • mobiuswolf says:

      I have three 4×12 sheets of poly green house panels that I’m going to put in place of that roof. At the proper pitch of course. I have been debating attaching it to the house or not but I’m sold already. I leave the door open at night and keep it a little warmer.
      night temps in the 30s last week, though I think we’re safely into the 40s now. Fingers crossed. Mom says I’m getting a high tunnel for my birthday, a double layer. If I can get both of those up this summer I’ll be golden for next year.

      I’ve been looking at various heat retention plans but can’t test anything yet, obviously. My dug basement never goes below 50 all winter (as long as the door is closed- don’t ask) so I figure geothermal is an option. By all means, write it up.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lbeth1950 says:

    Hey where are you. I am in Louisiana and started his gel culture last fall because of drought. I can see heat monkeys rising off it sometim s. How old was yours when you stated planting? Please post more. I am going to put watermelons at the base and run them up and over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mobiuswolf says:

      I planted the first year, but it wasn’t really a hugel at that point. Rotten logs covered with every kind of mulch I could scrounge, dirt and horse manure (from a local farm) on top. Second year it had kind of collapsed, so I had to add more fill. It’s 4 yrs now. I mulched it heavy last fall and topped with manure, so it should do well. I’m still not seeing any real difference from a raised bed. I’m in Maine, pretty far up.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. lbeth1950 says:

    That greenhouse looks like it’s working well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mobiuswolf says:

      It is indeed. I need to take more pics and post an update, I’ve got two inch sprouts in a matter of days. I’m sure the manure had some small part to play, too.

      Like

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