This week's 'dig'
Kate at High Altitude Gardening reports a neat thing happening in SLC, UT

You know you're a gardener when...
Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots
Where things either live or die!

Feb 5, 2009

Beautiful SUNNY Day!


What? Another sunny day in Portland, OR? Unbelievable, not to mention timely. Yesterday, I needed to get out there and work my compost bins. It’s a messy job, but some one has to do it :). I’m happy to, actually, because it means I have more compost for sowing seeds, the cold frame, and for side dressing my beds! You can never have enough compost. It looks like our usual ‘fake spring’ is a little early this year!


After I moved all the unfinished compost out of the right bin to the left bin, about half way down I got to the finished stuff. The two piles were about the same size and I had to remember which pile was the oldest! I took some of that and sifted it for the greenhouse and spread some of it in the cold frame. I don’t dig my beds, as I think it disturbs the soil layers. I add about an inch to the tops and let the worms work it into the soil. I got lucky and chose the right bin!




I sifted quite a bit, spread what I needed on the cold frame surface, and then just shoveled the rest in more bins. I ended up filling a large bin and one trash can of unsifted compost, and another bin a little more than 1/2 full of sifted back hurts! gold! I just love the smell of it!

One of the reasons I had to do this is because that Mizuna is growing too fast and needs to go into the cold frame. It won’t be long before the 1st winter sowings of lettuce, started with the Mizuna, will need to go in there too.  Here is the cold frame after harvesting the Corn Salad, Spinach, and a few lettuce leaves- it’s watered and ready to go with its layer of sifted compost. I cleared out what I had left of the Corn Salad and the Mizuna will follow (crop rotation), but the Spinach and lettuce will continue on into the spring.

I will, weather permitting, sow some more Spinach and Corn Salad in that area too.



The harvest was pretty good sized- the bowl it’s in is from my large salad spinner. The spinach plants are not big at all, but I’m taking little leaves from at least 15 plants. Yummy! My daughter and I had a great dinner- chicken tenderloins atop some salad and soup!

Here is the baby Mizuna tucked in their new home, with the cold frame lid on them covered with screening to shade them for a few days- now if I can just keep the munching marauders at bay they’ll be happy campers! Time for my midnight checks to start ;). I still need to cover the cold frame at night with its blanket. They are small, but they grow fast- if they don’t make it I’ll sow some more a little sooner.


I had a visitor in the greenhouse today too, actually a few. The greenhouse got to 92 degrees today, so I didn’t want to leave them in there.


All in all I’d say it was a pretty busy day- this week I’ll be sowing a few more things, I just need to figure out what :)

Happy Gardening!



  • Darla

    What a wonderful day you had!

  • Jan (Thanks For 2 Day)

    Hi Tessa, I'm really in awe of your knowledge and your determination, not to mention physical abilities. (My back hurts and I'm not so good in my garden now and that really bugs me, especially when I see those photos of you out there working in the compost!!).
    You really did get a large amount of lettuce and spinach. It looked fabulous!
    I'll keep watching to see the developments in your lovely veggie garden. :-)

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)


    Thanks for stopping by! I hope you're having some good weather there in Florida :)


    Thanks for the compliments! This morning I feel like a truck ran over me!!!! :) I think it's time for me to start raising my beds and cold frame a little higher :)

  • Ronnie

    That compost pile looks fantastic! I have one on a smaller scale, as well as a couple worm composting bins. And I love your greenhouse operation there!

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)

    Thanks for stopping by, Ronnie. I wanted to start a worm composter last year- I have everything, but the worms; maybe I'll get that started.

  • gardenerprogress/Catherine

    Wow Tessa, you sure were busy! Your salad looks so good. How many people are eating fresh lettuce from their garden now!!
    I had to laugh at your "fake spring" comment. We usually don't get it until March or April. Hope it can hold on a little longer.

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)


    Busy, yes. Sore, yes! I try to have something to eat from our garden year round. I have been working hard to get a good 4 season garden. It looks like rain until Sat. We'll see. I would love more sun!

  • Gardeness

    Your compost looks great. Reminds me that I need to turn mine. Your coldframe has also inspired me to do something. Do you think a plexiglass top would work OK? We've got one lying around that I want to reuse. Happy gardening.

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)


    Yes, plexiglass would work. I wish I had a piece laying around! There are great directions in Eliot Coleman's book Four Season Harvest about how to build the 'lights' (lids) and I think he used pieces of plexiglass. If you need to install an automatic arm the plexiglass might be too heavy for it, however. Happy Gardening!

  • Gardeness

    Thanks for the tip! I'll go search that out.

  • Kathleen

    Wow, 92 degrees in the greenhouse?!! That's hot. I feel like crawling in there and baking for a bit!! lol and your bees are out already! We won't see them for quite a while yet. Looks like you're off to a good start with your garden and eating the fresh greens already. btw, my back would have been really sore if I had turned all that compost too. Lucky you tho, having all that rich soil now.

  • Frances

    Hi Tessa, now that is a satisfying post! Real garden work, real compost, real baby plants and a bee! We mixed a group of salad green seeds and sowed them in a large shallow planter, including new to us mizune and corn salad! Hope mine gives us food as good looking as yours!

  • Garden Bloggers


    Your farm/garden operation looks really cool.

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)


    Thanks for stopping by. I try to winter garden, starting things late in the summer, so that I can harvest winter and early spring :) It has worked out well here in OR doing it that way.


    Mizune- is that the same as Mizuna? Good luck with your crops!

    Garden Bloggers- Thanks for stopping by- I wish it was a 'farm'!

Post a Comment

Don't hesitate leaving your thoughts! My comments are highlighted in light green. I support the No-NoFollow/DoFollow comments movement, so you all will get some well deserved link love! As always, happy gardening to you :)


Fight spam not blogs! Read more here