Thursday, November 17, 2011

Preparing the Ground

We went about this thing all wrong last year.  Most of the time was spent on setting up a small 5' fence around the garden, which kept nothing out until we put fishing wire above it two extra feet.  My husband believes in the wild approach.  Throw some seeds out there and see what comes up.  No labeling, no organizing, just pure natural selection.  I, however, at least need a process.  Since he did most of the planting, we had no idea what would come up.  I put together the herb garden and the pumpkin patch.  I KNEW what was in there.  As it turned out, my pumpkin patch was the most productive.  Why?  Because I added an entire 5 gallon bucket of rich compost to each hole picked through and fertilized by our 21 chickens.  Even the small pie pumpkins turned out huge.  I can't forget that about halfway through the growing season I added some organic pellet fertilizer that is supposed to last a couple of months.  Miracle Grow by brand.  My biggest mistake was that I planted the pumpkins in late July.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, that doesn't give enough time for the babies to ripen before the first frost which came mid October.  We did bring the pumpkins inside and lined them up underneath my brightest window.  Most of them ripened nicely, and I am still making puree from the beauties for the freezer.  The fresh pumpkin pies were the best I've ever eaten, not to mention the pumpkin praline muffins.  In teenage terms, they were BEAST!