I Love Spinach Leaves

Garden Blog plant-date: 4-23-20

Warning today’s blog is sort of a morning ramble.

This morning I woke up and fell back asleep several times, knowing there is rain in the forecast for my area today, I decided today would be a lazy-inside work day.

With virtually nothing else to do during this stay-at-home order, home improvement is top of the list. Working inside, with lighting and climate control at my fingertips, I have the advantage of more time so I can afford to sleep in a little.

The last few days have been spent doing yard work that wouldn’t be considered gardening, but is much needed to allow for gardening to take place. I worked on clearing the 3 year backlog of leaves, sorting good and bad wood and burning off some burnables as well as hauling rubbish to the dump when needed.

I did manage to do some gardening though. I created this cute raised bed out of driftwood that is not usable for fencing and some old bricks that I salvaged years ago from a brick wall being replaced by a local hotel in town.

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The raised garden I created is simply for radishes. I love them but hardly ever buy them from the store. I like produce fresh, but because I’m quite an introvert I hate going shopping every day. And with the uncertainty of the stay-at-home order being so long in Virginia, with what seems like no end in sight, I want to limit my trips to the store during the summer anyway.

I also realized I don’t grow fruits and vegetables to save money, I don’t grow to reduce trips to the store. That may sound like a typo but it’s not. You see I have no problem saying NO when it comes to buying things or going shopping. It’s a habit I formed long time ago when the D. C. snipers where picking off victims one by one years ago. I began limiting my trips to nearby Fredericksburg and as the years went on I came to limit shopping all together because I just realized how little I needed, so many of the items I’d bought on impulse.

So if I don’t attempt to grow some of these vegetables I won’t go out an buy them, hence I won’t eat them. Gardening is more of a way to create for me, than a way to feed myself.

Back to the raised bed…

I started a row of radishes in one third of the bed, I placed rocks along the line so I will remember where the first row of seeds are planted. I plan to start another row in 7 days and then a third in 14 days.

Radishes mature between 20 to 30 days. After my first batch is harvested I will have a better idea of how long the next harvest will take based on my climate so I will plant them accordingly to ensure a rotating crop for as long as I can.

Radishes are not fussy, they don’t need much nutrients, at least that’s what my research has told me. I also learned that they tend to bolt to seed in heat quicker so I will be keeping them cool and shaded as the temperatures rise. If they bolt I will collect the seed to replant in the fall.

If anyone has any advise for storing radishes please comment below. You can either give us your wisdom typed out or leave a link to your blog or your favorite article on the subject. I’m learning as I go right along with all of you.

The next raised garden I create will be for spinach. I don’t eat spinach cooked, however I love spinach leaves in the raw and use them in salad and on liverwurst sandwiches. It makes a much better lettuce than Iceberg and is much more nutritional. These days we need all the nutrition we can get.

I did start 8 starter tubes of Beef-Steak tomatoes in toilet paper tubes. I read about this trick using tp tubes.

To make them into containers to grow seedlings, you cut slits about a third of the way up creating tabs and fold inward.

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Glue all the folded tabs to form a bottom and use for planting starter seeds.

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The tubes can be mulched into the garden, into a compost or thrown away. Regardless they are biodegrade and don’t add more plastic to the environment. I used Elmer’s glue and put the tubes in a tin so it doesn’t matter if the bottoms get wet, the tin will keep them in their shape until it’s time to replant in the garden.

I also started some spinach seedlings and hopefully they will be ready to plant when my next raised bed is built and filled.

If you would like to see how I build and fill my raised bed leave a request in the comments below. If not I understand there are tons of vids and blogs on building and filling raised beds.

Until next time get those gardens tilled and seeds started, health and happiness to you all.

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