I spent a bit of time this weekend in my 26′ Dome getting it tidied and ready for a fall planting. We just had 3 weeks of monsoon rains and our temperatures have moderated somewhat, so I am hoping to get my fall crops planted this week. In so doing I am hoping to be in full production (or close to it) as I start to pull my summer crops out. We shall see, usually I am about 3 weeks off on my timing so this year I am following my sense of the weather to get it going. I have most of my fall/winter seeds bought already. I learned last year to buy fall seeds throughout the summer when I have a chance to find them. Pagosa Springs, like many smaller towns, doesn’t have a year-round nursery and when our local seed supplies are out in spring that’s all the seeds that will be available for the year. I will go in with a friend on purchasing some more greens seeds, the only thing I am short of. This fall I am really concentrating on the veggies that we eat the most often. I have taken out my enormous section of lemon balm and pineapple sage as I really only use this occasionally. I put them into pots to live next to the tank over the winter and brought some to town to transplant into my outdoor raised garden beds. They will either have enough time to get established and winter over or not. My suspicion is that come spring they will start flourishing in the outdoor beds. We are currently in the final stages of a huge landscaping project in our front yard and next spring I will be taking many of the herbs and plants that are wintering over in the raised garden beds and plant them among the landscaping plants that are already in place. In that scenario I will be happy to have them go crazy in size, but not so much in the Dome. My outdoor raised garden beds are mostly for flowers, asparagus and rhubarb at this point in time; things that would take over the entire dome if I let them.
My original grapevine is now happily thriving, and I continue to string more line for it to climb on. I hope I don’t run out of twine before we are able to get our inner beds built and the trellising installed, but that’s a bad weather inside project and our stone courtyard at the house is still our priority. The kiwi plant has survived it’s transplant and has new leaves, it had us worried for a while as it seemed to suffer the most with our inconsistent watering earlier in the season. I harvested another group of rosemary and thyme, stocking up for Christmas presents. Lots of lemon balm and pineapple sage for drying. A few amazing strawberries, soon to be added to our front yard landscaping, and some amazing plum tomatoes. I have one squash plant taking over the floor of the Growing Dome, it’s already over 8 feet long!
I recently purchased a box of apricots that a friend brought to me from the Delta, Colorado area. Part of the weekend was spent dehydrating some, making a bit of table jam (not canned) and experimenting with some apricot liqueur. It feels really lovely to be able to purchase food on a local basis and take advantage of the incredible flavors it has!
Well, that’s my update for this weekend, looking forward to a visit from Richard Miller, our on site Master Gardener, who is going to help me up-level my planting plan for maximum production. My goal this next year is to almost completely eliminate any trips to the local market for produce, okay, except for the rare and tropical things I can’t resist.