Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
The big cabbage is getting bigger. I'm looking forward to some homemade coleslaw. Maybe I should make the mayo for it and go all out.
All of the cabbages have new leaves and look like they are going to thrive once we get some more sunshine.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Between the largest cabbage and the lettuce, I added one row of spinach stretching front to back. Peas from March 9th are planted under the left half of the trellis and I finished the right half yesterday. Many rows of beets are between the trellis and cabbages. I plan on harvesting their greens throughout the season as last year we nearly picked them clean without harming the beets. In the top right corner I planted three rows of radish and in the bottom right I planted 2 types of carrots.
The whole arrangement is slightly different from what I had originally planned. I reworked the plan after getting there last night and laying in some rows of seeds.
I figure the lettuce will be replaced by bush beans, the peas will be replaced by cucumbers on one half and squash on the other, the beets will be doing their thing through fall, ditto with the carrots, the radish will be replaced by tomato plants, the spinach will be a surprise (first year growing it), and the cabbages will fill out the rest for most of the season. In the picture above, the small cabbage-like thing farthest to the top right is cauliflower. Who knows what will come of that guy.
Oh, there is also the plan to have an eggplant seedling go in somewhere when we get the tomatoes. I am hoping to find either a Thai skinny or round variety. I don't think we'll be able to produce any of the big Italian varieties by the end of summer. I have seen other people successfully grow smaller types in neighboring plots.
Here are the traditional cabbages (two) and the brighter green Chinese cabbages (three). I expect to be harvesting the Chinese first, hopefully by summer.
Now we just have to wait and hope for a pleasant spring with sun all day and light rain at night.
By the way, there were lots of yearling kittens in the garden when I was doing my thing. A really wild looking long haired dark brown/black one with big green eyes was watching my every move.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I took a look at my master gardening 2010 schedule and it turns out I'm ahead! I had planned to do all this by April 1st but with the next few weekends being out-of-towners for us, I'm hoping to have a little more done by the end of the week.
I've gotta get some pictures of the cabbages too for posting. It has been in the high 60's for the past few days after A LOT of rain, so I bet everyone who is in the ground already is very happy.
Hooray for Spring!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Last spring I noted in a book the dates when the first seeds went in the ground (March 9, 2009) and the location of the crops in the plot. Although I am interested in the concept of crop rotation, it is just too hard to do that in my tiny little garden. I always want to plant tall and hungry tomatoes. I will always begin the season with peas on the big trellis. Sunflowers are just too pretty and beneficial to pass up. More than anything, my garden planning is a careful orchestration of space and the path of the sun. I am lucky to have a great position in the community garden in terms of light: I get it morning, noon, and night in the spring, summer, and fall. Still, I will not make the same mistake I made the first year when some huge cherry tomato plants shaded the entire plot by mid July. My tomato plants will again be in the southeast corner of the plot and I made sure to heavily compost that area last fall in anticipation of their arrival.
Surprisingly I did get some seeds in the ground the same day this year as last: March 9. We had some beautiful weather last week with temperatures in the low 60s. I picked up a packet of English peas ("prolific yields" it said) and planted half a row under the trellis. Last year my early planting was a gamble and I was a little cautious this year, choosing to stagger my plantings under the trellis. I also planted a row of green leaf lettuce on the west side of the plot. I will go back this weekend, finish the pea row, add another row of lettuce, and begin the sowing season for real.
Getting back to that plan I put together way back when we still had snow on the ground, I am scheduled to begin serious gardening mid March. That means now! I drew up a schedule first of desired harvest dates and then a corresponding schedule for planting dates. It is always difficult to have things constantly in the picking stage. Last year I had a gap in July partly due to the very wet spring but also because of poor planning. The tomato plants went in late. The beans had already peaked. I was persisting with a waning chard and kale crop that should have been pulled. This year the word to know is succession planting. When the lettuce is done, the next crop goes in. When the bush beans are getting bushy, new bean plants should be started. When the peas are reaching up the trellis, cucumber and squash seeds must be sown. If I stick to my schedule and the weather is reasonably cooperative, I should be enjoying fresh produce throughout the season.
This weekend I will sow: red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, peas, radish, 2 varieties of carrot, beets, and spinach. I am working around a green cabbage plant that wintered over, 3 chinese cabbages that wintered over, and garlic that I planted around the south and west perimeters last fall.
I will have images next post and probably an amended list of what went in the ground.
Share with us what you have planted indoors and out! We all want to know!