• The Vegetarian Homestead

Trying a new gardening method

This year I am going to try yet again to grow carrots. We are blessed with heavy clay soil which is rich in nutrients but grows stubby and malformed carrots. Last year we tried growing them in my son's raised bed which I had prepared with purchased compost and top soil. They did ok but were still malformed. I don't think the raised bed was tall enough.

So this year I am going to devote 3 different size raised beds that are 8 inches tall for growing carrots. I am going to dig up the garden soil and fill the bed with a mixture of peat moss and compost. Its an expensive method but we really want to grow carrots!

I also plan to use the square foot gardening method for the carrots. I've never used that method but I bought a book and I'm excited to try it! I also learned a new way to encourage carrot seeds to germinate. Carrot seeds take a long time to germinate and they need to be moist the entire time. The trick is to sow the seeds, cover it with very thin layer of soil, water it in well and than cover that area with a piece of plywood or cardboard. Check it once a day to make sure the soil is wet and cover it back up. In a week or so the seeds will have germinated and you can remove the cover. I tried this last year and had great germination.

The spring garden seedlings are doing amazing this year! I always lose some seedlings to damping off but this year I've only lost a few! This year I started the seeds in a good quality potting mix and compost mixture. I also have deeper cells and I think that really made a huge difference! I am very happy with the results so far and am looking forward to eating the harvest.

Our fruit and nut trees arrived today. We have already chosen the locations and dug the holes for the trees. Most are bare-root so we want to make sure they are in the ground as quick as possible. In a few years, they should be mature enough to bear fruit for our homestead.

We've never planted bare root trees before so we were kind of perplexed at the "sticks" we received but the nursery we bought them from has very good track record for quality products.

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