Thursday, February 26, 2015

Spring Has Sprung?

Crocus in full splendor
I hate to brag, but our weather on the West Coast is about a month ahead of 'normal'. With double digit daytime temperatures; daffodils and crocus provide a welcome splash of color and the garlic sprouts have pushed through their winter straw cover. A bald eagle nest at the top corner of the property has been busy and 'loud', as are the sea lions... meaning the herring should arrive soon. Since moving to Denman, the annual herring spawn has always signified Spring to me.

Straw mulched garlic bed 
~planted October 26th, 2014 for 2015 harvest
There was frost on the garden February 22nd when these photos were taken.
The main garden is on a north-facing slope, so my crops are usually a good 2 weeks behind friends who live on the south (sunny) side of the Island. The winter straw mulch was pulled off of the garlic and strawberries but not totally removed. These three beds will be fertilized in a week or so when it warms up a bit more.
I am often asked for the 'recipe' I use to make a complete and well balanced fertilizer for my garden. This recipe was originally found in a 'Buckerfield's Country Store' flyer many years ago and I have mixed it myself ever since. I purchase 50 pound bags of each component from either 'Black Creek Farm and Feed' or 'South Country Feeds' in Courtenay (where you can purchase smaller amounts in bulk). It is broadcast on new beds or mixed and stored in large pails to sprinkle around the overwintered plants or when transplanting into the garden. I know a few of you might be thinking, "I thought she said no garden this year" and you are right. I will be container gardening around the house this year but the strawberries and garlic overwinter in the main garden and that is that!
August 2010 garlic harvest

Balanced Fertilizer ~ Basic Formula
4 parts seed meal (ie: canola or cottonseed)
1 part rock phosphate
1 part bone meal
1 part green sand (optional)
1/2 part kelp meal

Suggested application rate: 2-3 kg. per 10 square meters or 30 meters of row...
Or use 75-100 ml. (1/3-2/3 cup per transplant.

Till next week, Happy Gardening and Bon Appetit!

Photos of Sally's garden by Sally Rae

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