April 21, 2014 - Amy's in the Garden!

It's a first.  Amy does my grocery shopping, takes me to doctor appointments, does all my "beauty" stuff (sorry Amy, even you can't make a 75 year old beautiful), helps me shower and dress, calls doctor or nurse if I have a concern or request (sorry Amy, we tried), Delivers and picks up my RXs, and calls several tims a day to see how I feel or to ask if I need anything.

But Amy doesn't garden.

She knew the carrot seed mats had to go down soon, so I got my seed mat tutorial out for her to read.

How did she do?

I gave her an A+  Maybe even an A++!!

Judge for yourself.

 First she scratched in the leaves that had topped this bed for months, under clear plastic, in an attempt to solarize the soil and break down the leaves.  I was (unhappily) surprised to see the leaves had not composted down very much.

 Then she added some slow release, mixed with a bit of regular release fertilizer.  *Disclaimer: That is NOT Miracle Grow in the shaker container!  It' a mixture of chicken poo, turkey feathers and other organic ingredients, and the shaker is about 3-4 years old and a God send.

 She removed all the clumps of leaves and sent them to the compost pile.

 She raked it as smooth as possible, after removing some soil for covering the mats.

 That removed soil was put into the wheelbarrow, where She again tried to sift out leaf clumps.  Then she added a good amount of Pro-Mix with mycorrhizae.  Mycorrhizae are supposed to make things grow better and stronger, plus it has mostly peat moss to lighten the soil.  I also added a bit of vermiculite.

 She laid out her seed mats and sprinkled enough of the 'topping" to hold them down,

Last, she finished covering the mats with the soil mixture, tamped them down with the back end of the rake, and watered them in with a fine mist.

Good job, Amy.  You just planted 360 carrots!  I now pronounce you Master Gardener in Training!

20 comments:

  1. /bowing in the awesomeness that is Amy!

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  2. Looks to me like Amy did an excellent job...and now she can come down to California and plant my carrot seed mats! I think you have converted another Gardener!

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    1. Lynda, read my reply to Jenny if you need another nudge to CONVERT!

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  3. Go Amy! I hope all those carrots germinate for you all. Right now I'm waiting for mine to come up. They take so long to germinate.

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  4. Go Amy! I learned the same method to grow carrots from Granny's post and now do it each year!

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    1. I'm glad I was able to give you that little hint, Jenny! A lot of people think I'm a bit looney for "taking so much time to glue little seeds to napkins". They don't realize how little time it takes, and how almost addictive it becomes. I do it through the winter months, when I'm bored, while watching TV. Just a few gluing sessions, I can have my entire stash of tiny seeds "planted" and ready for garden the following spring. And I never have to thin. And I know exactly how many seeds I have planted (30 carrots to one 12x12 napkin), and I can tell exactly which bed to plant them in for the best use of space.

      One reader uses this method to make radish mats, using the seeds to write out the name of his garden! I think that's a great idea!!

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  5. I think she did a great job!

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  6. Awesome job, Amy. Although I am not surprised, she has a great teacher :)

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    1. Rachel gets the *SMOOTCH* of the day!

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  7. Wow Granny, your garden is so nicely laid out! Any did a great job!!! Question: Turkey feathers? Perhaps I should hunt your blog for that one. Hugs!

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    1. Tammy, I can't even tell you the brand. First I go for the cheapest, pelleted instant release (close to 10/10/10) I can find, then I begin checking to see if it's at least mostly organic. That, I think, was the one with turkey feathers and chicken poo. Then I look for the slow release (usually feeds for about 3 months) but with a smaller N number. Not real fussy, but don't want to overload the garden with Nitrogen. I'm also not quite so fussy about whether it's organic, as long as it meets those other criteria. I mix both containers together and pour them into the MG shaker containers. Best thing I ever saved, LOL. I can sprinkle exactly what I need, where I need it. So, I guess I should call myself an "almost" organic gardener, but this method has worked great for me for years. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!. .

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    2. LOL... that's what my Dad used to say all the time!! hehe Thanks for the info. Have you ever used rabbit poo Granny? I like the convenience of cold compost.

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    3. Oh, yes, Tammy! We owned a house rabbit for 10 years! Just put "Cookie" in the search box. He made enough poo for the most beautiful greens. He had his very own grazing garden!

      http://annieskitchengarden.blogspot.com/2010/02/february-15-2010-theres-cookie-in-my.html
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qq7iKd7mUKI
      http://annieskitchengarden.blogspot.com/2011/10/october-10-2011-sad-day.html


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    4. How sweet was he! I left a couple of comments on those posts.

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  8. I pinned your seed mat tutorial. I think this is just what I need for carrots!

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    1. Texan, I've had good luck spacing them even closer. If you love baby carrots, and I do, you can space the seeds as close as 1" apart, and pull every other one for your baby fix. I wouldn't even call it thinning. I also do an extra mat, that I can cut into smaller seed tapes and replant them if I have a space or two that didn't germinate. That sometimes happens when one gets seeds from an unknown source, or just can't help but grab a packet from the 20-cent seed rack at the dollar store. I must admit though, some of those cheap seed packets germinate better than the most expensive ones, and I buy them quite often!

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  9. I used your seed mats for carrots last year - and they were fabulous! The frustrating task of sowing those teeny tiny seeds was turned into a neat, organized & no-stress process. It makes a sort of Type A like me go "aahh". Until the slugs got to ALL my seedlings, that is - grrr!

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    1. Margaret, I had a similar experience last year, but mine were wiped out by root knot nematodes and the boards I used to cover the emerging seedlings. I've always used boards, being careful to check under them for anything green, every day after the first week. When I checked these, I kept seeing wiggly creatures and bare spots. The "wigglies" were eating the seedlings, and the nematodes were making a tangled mess of the roots themselves. So the method of using the boards no longer worked in my garden. After years and years of planting them that way! This year I'm not covering them with anything, but misting them a couple times a day to try to keep the seed bed damp.

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  10. Good JOB Amy!! From Amy of the Issaquah, WA side of the mountains! I hope you know I’m watching closely b/c your mom’s teaching me too!! lol Go Amy GO!

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