Friday, February 6

Winter Gardening Thoughts

While I was printing out art orders this week, I sat down and ordered my seeds for this upcoming season. A lot of thought when into this - I've been pondering what to order for weeks now, and even though there is snow on the ground, it is crunch time. Plants got added to the list, and then taken off...and sometimes even put back on again.

I believe this is the last picture I have of my garden - on it's 'last days'. Some might be on my old phone, but that has since been replaced, so we will say 'this' is the last day ;) Things are already dying / dead in this picture - the Kale held on until the end. I actually just ended up pulling it out even though it wasn't dead, because we were so sick of eating it.

 I know I cleaned up later when the leaves had turned - as I took this photo of Chewie (maybe only 8-10 weeks old) playing the in leaves as I cleaned up. But we just got a puppy - so camera focus was on him, not all the crunchy, dead garden plants. He's so cute, I feel anyone else would have done the same ;) It was October 25th when I cleaned everything up.

And another, because I just can't resist. I was fortunate to have a tree right beside to attach him to, so I know he wouldn't just run away while I was working away.

Anyways, back to my gardening! :)

Last year I grew the basics, not knowing how things would go and wanting to ensure a successful year. Some things I didn't grow thinking we wouldn't want to eat them, and then really wanted them later when it was too late.

Last year's grow list:
  • Beans
  • Tomatoes - regular, cherry and roma
  • Pickling Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Various lettuce
  • Peppers - green, mini and chili
  • Kale
  • Zucchini
  • Potatoes
  • Herbs
  • Brocoli
  • Sunflower
I was pretty happy with most of the results. I will not be doing potatoes this year (took too much space, for not many potatoes). Also, the mini peppers - although cute - turned out to be a lot of work preserving, so I will be passing on those as well. The herbs got almost a whole half of box to themselves last year and some we barely used - those will only get a plant or two in the garden this round.

New seeds ordered this year:
  • Radishes - normal and 'watermelon'
  • Yellow Wax Hot Pepper
  •  Jalapeno pepper
  • Purple beauty pepper
  • Peas - sugar snap and purple mist (purple pods)
  • Beets - an assorted blend pack (red, yellow, ringed, ect)
  • Rainbow blend carrots - hello purple and red carrots?! :)
  • Spinach - with all the kale, we started to miss spinach, and found ourselves buying it
  • Beans - pole and runner beans
  • Old german tomatoes - I wanted to try a 'special' tomato, alongside the regulars. This red - yellow stripped one looked so pretty. 
  • Ground Cherry - easy to grow fruit? Yes please!
  • Cucumber - regular sized
  • Bok Choi
The runner beans, pole beans and purple mist pea are all climbers, and we have a few areas that they can just take over and make things look so much nicer.  I excited for those.

We (uhm, I) are planning to use some of the flower beds for vegetables this year too -some of the leafy / pretty ones, such as the kale. So, even though it seems like a large list, items will be spread out a lot more this year. 

I ordered most from West Coast Seeds and the remaining from Vesey's seeds. Many of the previous plants I have seeds left, so I will just be using those up. 

I can't wait for them to arrive, but until then there is still more planning. I am trying to work out the location of everything this year in the garden. Optimize the best I can. Trying to utilize some basic crop rotation to best optimize the soil. As well, seeing what flower beds are going to need a 'boost' in soil to accommodate some plants, and which plants won't even care. The square-foot gardening technique worked very well in my garden boxes. Things look super crowded, but everything flourished beautifully.

All this planning requires so much coffee and tea...
 When the seeds arrive, I'll be starting right away (since we will be into March) some of the slower growing plants, and then a few weeks later, starting majority of the remaining seeds that need an indoor start. So excited!!!!

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