It is still winter! However I really wanted to share a book that I just read. SOLAR GARDENING.

 Know anyone who knows me personally can attest that I read a LOT about gardening. I gleen items for each book and can spend weeks mulling over ideas to put into practice. I currently have a large garden area that contains both raised beds, and a tilled section. I practive intensive type gardening in both sections. My husband actually found this book and it has got me thinking ..HMM.
In the book they describe a SOLAR POD. It is similar to a cold frame, but it is a dome type structure.  The book has a lot of information, but most of it I found not as interesting as the season extenders used. Besides the Solar pods that would fit on top of my cold frames, they use translucent cones to give plants some added protection in the spring. Those will definetely be used in my garden this year.

The third item that really caught my eye was how they grow their tomatoes. They use a 30 " wire cage that must be 6 feet tall. The cage is anchored to the ground and filled up 1/3 of the way with compost and old hay. Then you plant 5 tomato plants around the OUTSIDE of the cage and wind them in and out of the cage as they grow. I am trying to figure out exactly how the compost/hay is a benefit. Oviously it is nutrients and mulch to keep moisture near the roots.. HMM I will have to think on this one some more. I looked online for a photo to help you visualize this, but I was unsucessful. I will post one as soon as I get my built. It will one of many experiments this year.

What are my plans for this year?
Try our hand at growing soybeans for edamame. (3 varieties)
Continue learning to save seeds
Build a solar pod and growing cones
Exceed my harvest from last year.
We hope to plant some grapes this year

What are my other favorite books for gardening?
Square Foot Gardening - Mel Bartholmew

Lasagna Gardening

Any books by Jerry Baker. He has tonics to repel pests, tonics to fertilize your garden. OH so much great information.

Gardening is a skill, that grows on you! Never be discouraged if you have a failure of one type or another. It is simply an opportunity to try something different.