Friday, April 8, 2011

Gardening Madness!

Okay, so yesterday I yammered-on about the New Garden Beds.

And last weekend, P and I went to the annual Spring Garden Market put on by the Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County. I scored a buttload of plants - Yay!


Even though we are well-past our last frost date; and even though *everybody* is selling veggie seedlings; you're not supposed to stick 'em in the ground until evenings stay around 50-55*, generally around May 1.

So the New Babies are resting outside, on top of the beds during the day, and getting dragged into the Studio (*gasp*) at night - until they're ready for permanent placement in the aforementioned New Garden Beds.

"What about the greenhouse?" you may well ask.

"Shut UP!"

Actually, after the last frost date, I had more-or-less shut down the greenhouse. Dragged all my "marginals" out and started watering them again. Unplugged the heaters and Christmas lights and such. And - since that coincided with the Building of the Studio... Well, unfortunately, the greenhouse kinda turned into a "dump-spot" for assorted leftover building materials. Of course, it was *most* convenient to dump whatever crap we dumped directly inside the doorway. Bottom line: I can't get through the gosh-damned door.

Annnnnd... Adding insult to injury, it's gotten rainy and cold in the meantime, so I don't feel like spending a lot of time schlepping stuff out of the greenhouse right now. *sigh*

So there it is!

Anywaaaaay... While I was at the Garden Market, I got to meet one of my favorite bloggers, Finnyknits. She's a San Jose-an, as well. And she's a Gardening Phreak! (And her blogs are infinitely more entertaining and 99.8% Snarkier than mine!).

So Finny's a bit nutty in the gardening realm. Around this time last year, I read her posts about Testing and Soil Prep. And I was all "Naaahhhh... I freshen up my beds and toss compost and steer manure on 'em every year. I don't need to do thaaaaat!"

Well, last year (actually, the last couple of years), my garden was utterly suck-tastic. Of course, everyone else I spoke to *also* had Crappy Tomato Years, so I blamed it on the non-summery weather we'd had ("We were ROBBED, I tellya! ROBBED!").

Yet, toward the end of the season, Finny's updating her Garden Spreadsheet (Sorry, Finz, that's just a little *too* A/R for me!), and she harvested something like 2.4 metric tons of tomatoes, and 8,000 bushels of beans and Gawd-Only-Knows what else! She also *almost* got some African Horned Jelly Melons (I tried competing with her - but the Snails won!).

Point being: Even though the weather was sucky, Finny (who obviously lives in the same general climate zone) was having massive gardening success. Clearly she's doing something right!

So this year, I am following her lead. Yep. I have procured a soil test kit and I will dutifully test and amend my soil, per the Finnyknits Method.

pH looks pretty normal to me!

Ooh! Look at all the Pretty Colors!

Waiting for the soil to settle is about as exciting as watching paint dry

And, since I'm lazy, I am going to link to her blog-posts so that you, too, can test and amend your soil. All the Cool Gardeners are doing it!

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