While many of us are still watching snow melt and feeling the bite of winter, there are others who have been basking in the warmth of spring for some time now. Today Churchill returns to share some of the activity and growth taking place in her organic vegetable garden in Patzcuaro, Mexico…
We had a strange winter. It was supposed to be the dry season, but we got more rain than we did in the wet season. So I spent the few dry days we had in January working up the new beds and bolstering the old ones.
Over Wintered Plantings and New Spring Growth
Planted red-top turnips in late November and they are prolific. The rhubarb came on strong with the hail storms, and the Swiss chard, spinach and kale and lettuces came through very well.
I have artichokes that seemed to flourish on the cold and rain. The horseradish is sprouting new tops. The beans did well, and I am planting more. I also have collards, mustard and endive coming in. I plant straight into the ground. And the trees are showing their spring green, and the fruit trees are beginning to blossom.
Using Sand and Raised Beds to Help Improve Soil Structure
We are also building soil for a larger patch in the field. We have red hardpan clay. So we’re laying volcanic sand over the clay, and then burying it in wheat straw, a layer of cow manure and then mulch.
After it sets a bit, we pull and mix it together and form our raised beds, which are about 18″ high. I have already planted one long row with cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and a few artichokes. We made a squash bed tucked behind the east garden wall where it will get first light and some relief from the late afternoon sun that is so hot.
Trellising Peas, Beans, Squash, and Tomatoes
We are using the garden wall to string up our peas, beans, squashes and bush pickles. Going to train my tomatoes on the walls, too, and see how that works.
I will be adding more variation as I build more rows. Hope to have some good rows ready before June when the rains begin. The most damage we received was to our flowers, we had some wicked hail. But it looks like everything is recovering.
Always looking for advice and tips, signed: Churchill from Patzcuaro, Mexico.
Thanks for the report Churchill; it’s always interesting to hear what’s growing in other gardens and in other climates and countries! Churchill is an organic vegetable gardener and previous contributor here on the Veggie Gardening Tips website.
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