Despite the 4C(39F) were putting in the garden. We are starting with Tomatoes, Squashes, Lettuce, Spinach, Carrots, Cabbage, Broccoli, Radishes.. I know it sounds weird, planting tomatoes in this weather - but they are going in mini green houses. All the veggies are. The big trick is to keep them from burning when the sun comes out.
As we are planting we are also adding tin foil to the top tire on the inside to reflect the light. It makes a huge difference. I am also adding sand, from our new found pit, and Perlite to loosen up the clay based soil. Actually a glacial alluvial mix. We also plant all the cabbage and squash through slits in a black geo-textile that lets water in, blocks weeds, and keeps heat in the soil. A high tech mulch. I have found a new tool for working in the re-tired garden. It's a three pronged garden fork that has an extending handle. Perfect for stirring up the soil. Here I am making a menacing gesture with it. Or I have gas. I forget.
You can see the difference between a tire that has been tin foiled on the left and one that was just painted white to the right. Still on the look out for a great wheel barrow. Or maybe a garden cart. Any suggestions?
We are only doing a quarter planting of Spinach, Lettuce, and Radishes. A full tire of each is far to much for two people to eat. However, the chickens are more than willing to help out with the Spinach. We just plant a quarter tire and come back in a couple of weeks and plant another and so on to keep us in greens for the summer. Before we get to munch on beet tops.
Later we will be adding some kale, and today - if we avoid the rain, spuds. I am adding more spuds by using the garbage bag method. Basically putting a large heavy duty garbage bag in a tire, cutting some holes in the bottom for drainage, folding it down and adding soil and seed spuds. As they grow we just unroll more of the bag and top with more soil or even chopped straw. When were finished we have a bag of spuds. And can recycle the soil and straw. The tire ( a small car tire in this application) just helps hold the bottom of the bag for stability.
You know your missing fresh from the dirt greens when you find yourself eating the lambs quarters as you weed them from the garden.