We have had below average moisture for March so the beds in the upper part of my garden dried up enough to work yesterday. I ran the tiller over them and then used a broadfork to to loosen and aerate the soil. Tillers don’t go deep enough IMHO.

A broadfork has two handles and iron rod teeth. You stand on it to penetrate the soil then gently rock it back and forth by leaning. It’s not that strenuous as it uses your weight more than strength. More pleasant than a machine as you can hear the wind rustling in the trees and birds singing mating songs.

I had to move my rhubarb because as I am building the new fence I am dropping a gate I had in the previous electric fence only used to bring in larger stuff, like a tractor with a rototiller or dumping compost. Gates are a hassle to build and weak points in the system so I am limiting them. The one I am putting enters past the asparagus into the garden proper over the rhubarb so I had to move them.

One plant a ground hog had dug a hole into the root system and had some rotted roots so I didn’t use that one. One I carefully divided and got small pieces off, discarding the old and hollow roots. The third I just split into three pieces with a shovel and planted as is. There is still one left but Janaka is going to come and dig that up for his garden.

I also planted spinach, potatoes, and radishes.

The spinach is real cold hardy and good to go but I only planted half a seed package. The moon is waning and I have heard it is better to plant above ground plants when the moon is waxing so I will plant the other half later, just for giggles. I have never paid that much attention to moon cycles for planting as usually ground conditions trump fine points but I will play with it here.

It is too early for radishes and in a normal year they won’t make it but if we do get an early spring it will pay out. This is at risk for failure but if you aren’t failing at something on a regular basis you aren’t really alive, IMHO.

I had bought some B sized small) potatoes at a flea market a couple of weeks ago and they were initiating sprouting. Usually commercial potatoes are treated with sprout inhibitor for better shelf life and rot before sprouting but these weren’t somehow, maybe they were bought by the vender locally from the Amish.

Some I left out and they had about half inch (13mm) sprouts. I planted them regular depth. The small size doesn’t require cutting into seed size pieces.

The rest I put into some wetted peat moss. They had twice as long sprouts but more importantly about 3 inch (76 mm) long roots on them.

I set them just deep enough to cover and will then put 12 inches (300 mm) of hay over them. I will be able to reach under the hay and pick new potatoes without having to kill the plant.

2009 garden season ki jaya!