Seed starting

Wonder if I have enough pots? This is round 2. We planted out 18 flats yesterday of peppers and tomatoes but I forgot to take pictures. I also found a great big fat worm out in the garden yesterday when I was working on the pond!




-Fin

Planning out the Garden and Shovels

This weekend was a super busy weekend but a whole lot of stuff got done!

I broke what I thought was my last shovel on Friday trying to get that tree stump out of the ground, which sucks, because I have a whole lot more stuff to do with a shovel before the season even begins this year. We went to several estate sales yesterday trying to find a new shovel with absolutely NO luck. Isn’t it usually the case that every time you’re not looking for something that they are all over the place but as soon as you go looking for it there is none to be found? That was the case with shovels yesterday. The only one we found was a really crappy short handled one and I really wanted a long handled shovel. I did end up getting a couple new large sized tomato cages tho, and when we opened the trunk of the car to stick the cages in there we found a shovel! Go figure. It must have been in my car when I hit the deer and gotten stuck in Fates car without me realizing it. Unfortunately it was a short handled one, which wasn’t what I wanted.

We went to Ace Hardware on the way home thinking to maybe pick up a new handle so I could replace the handle that I broke. Man, those things are expensive! They wanted like $15 for a new one. I started looking at the shovels on the wall and saw a all steel one for $29, with a lifetime warranty! Considering I’ve broken about 5 shovels or more in the last 3 years I figured the lifetime warranty was the way to go. I ended up getting this Fiskars long handled shovel. The wider base for stepping on and the life time warranty were the major attractions for me. Its a bit heavier then the other shovels I have used but I guess that works out well in the goal of I have of building more muscle! I haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but will be sure to post a review when I do.

Today was spent sorting out our massive seed order. 172 different varieties! I think we might be a bit insane. We have 4 different places we are planting. My parents house, my brothers girlfriends friends farm (in three different places), my brothers house, and my house. Seeing the amount of seeds we have I am having trouble believing that we have ENOUGH seeds. Then the other part of me wonders where in the hell we are going to even put everything. Its crazy.

We started a google document that listed out all the starting times for getting things started indoors, transplanting, and direct seeding for both the spring and fall time. I am super excited to get everything going. We should be starting out the first of our seeds here very soon as our last expected frost date is April 15th. I’m really wondering how that is going to go this year since we don’t seem to have had a winter around here. Knowing this area tho, even tho the winter has been super mild, I can see our last frost happening the end of May. A freak June snow storm isn’t out of the question either.

My brother took a bunch of the salvaged wood I brought home and made out quite a few of the boxes for the garden for me. I’m happy about that as it will save me a ton of work. There are quite a few to go, but he made a whole lot of progress on them today. I will be concentrating on getting those into the garden this week along with getting the rest of the hugelkulture beds in the front yard dug out and filled up. I have the wood now to get those going, and the new shovel to get them dug out! I need to get that little tree moved and then I am in business.

Things are really coming along around here!

-Fin

2012 Seed List

This is what is getting planted this year….of course always subject to getting added on to, depending on our whims 🙂

hairy vetch
oats, hulless
winter rye
amaranth – golden
amaranth – mayo indian
amaranth- love lies bleeding red
bean – dragon tounge
Beans – selma zesta
beans – grandma nellie’s yellow mushroom bean
beans – rattlesnake pole
long beans – Chinese mosaic long beans
Long Bean – thai purple podded yard long
beet – lutz salad leaf
beet – chioggia
beet – golden beet
beet – mamoth red mangel
broccoli – romanesco italia
broccoli – waltham 29
cauliflower – early snowball
brussels sprouts- catskill
cabbage – early flat dutch
cabbage – premium late flat dutch
cabbage – red acre
cabbage-savoy
carrot – danvers
carrot – cosmic purple
carrot – jaune Obtuse du doubs
celery – utah tall
corn – cherokee long ear small popcorn
corn- wade’s giant indian
cucumber – poona kheera
cucumber – edmonson pickling
cucumber – home made pickles
cucumber – little leaf h-19
eggplant – listada de gandia
eggplant – rosita
ground cherry
red wonder wild strawberry
wonderberry
yellow wonder wild strawberry
Garlic- Best selling sampler
wong bok cabbage
kale-lacinato
kale-vates
kale – russian red
kale – larks tounge kale
leek – king seig
lettuce – iceburg
lettuce – jericho (cos)
lettuce – yougoslavian red butterhead
lettuce – wild garden lettuce mix
melon – edisto 47
melon – kansas
melon – green machine
okra – bowling red
okra – burmese
okra – jing orange
onion – crimson forest-bunching
onion – he shi ko – bunching
onion – evergreen hardy white
peas – sugar snap
pepper- napoleon sweet
pepper-orange bell
pepper- yellow bell
pepper – sweet chocolate
pepper – anehiem
pepper – jalapeno
pepper – ashe county pimento
pepper – corno di toro
pepper – sweet bananna
pepper – aji dulce
wildflower- siberian wallflower
radish – easter egg
rutabega – nadmorska
sorghum – mennonite
wild flowers- maltese cross
spinach – bloomsdale
wild flowers- black eyed susan
spinach – new zeland spinach
Zinnia – persian carpet
spinach – red malabar spinach
squash – kamo kamo
squash – tromboncino
squash – waltham butternut
squash_ golden bush scallop
chard – five color silver beet
chard – oriole orange chard
chard – perpetual spinach
tomato – green zebra
tomato – black plum
tomato – cherokee purple
tomato – yellow bell
tomato – german red strawberry
tomato- otv brandywine
tomato – striped roman
ground cherries – cossack pineapple
turnip – boule d’or
turnip – scarlet ohno revival
watermelon – moon and stars, long milky way
basil – cinnamon
Marigold – brocade mix
basil – holy basil
lavender, english
bee balm – lemon
catnip
Chamomile
parsley – dark green italian
parsley – moss curled
purslane – golden
sage
soapwart
bachelor’s button – polka dot mix
cockscomb – dwarf mix
cockscomb – tall
milk thistle
valerian
marigold – tashkent #1
Morning glory – grandpa ott’s
Nasturtium – tall trailing mix
Lion’s Tail or Wild Dagga
zinnia- Envy
sunflower – peredovik
sunflower- tiger eye
Sunflower – mammoth

I also plan on making seed tapes this year. I’ve developed a taste for orderly rows that are easy to mulch. I don’t have enough patience to plant each individual seed and always end up scattering them. Then I either live with the really spotty coverage that gives, or I dig them up and make nice neat rows. I think just having the tapes from the beginning will make a difference on having to dig things up. I’ve come to realize that proper spacing makes a difference on how things grow, especially lettuces!

-Fin

Winter in the Garden

It hasn’t been super cold here this year. We’ve only had a couple days and many nights below freezing. It’s been enough to kill most of the veggies but some are still going, some limping along.

Kale and maybe some Kolrabi:

Garlic:

The cover crop is coming in nicely in places, not as well in others:

Fate took down the Christmas tree yesterday and I cut it up to make a support for some climbing things this summer:

I’m not sure what will be climbing it yet but it should provide a nice support for something.

I’ve started chopping up the rotted wood for my hugelkulture beds in the front yard. It’s slow going. Its hard work and I am convinced I lost a lot of muscle from being vegetarian for so long. Slowly but surely I will build it back up tho. I’ve got plenty of time.

I’ve been enjoying going through my seed catalogs this winter. I’ve am getting ready to put an order in very soon. It’s getting time to start seeds for the garden this year. I’m excited to see spring come and things start growing again.

– Fin

Seeds are Small

“Duh” you say, “Yes, I know seeds are small”

Ok, ok, but, really, have you ever stopped to think about how small seeds really are compared to what they produce? An 80-100 foot elm tree from a seed the size of a peanut. An entire 8-12 foot tomato plant from a seed the size of less then half of a grain of rice that reproduces itself over and over and over and over in the fruits that you eat. Its just amazing to me is all.

I planted some seeds for the garden yesterday (planted 5 of these trays, although the picture only shows two):

4 different kinds of tomatoes (3 heirloom)
Jalapenos
Hungarian wax peppers
5 color bell peppers
Sweet peppers
Tomatillos

Seems there was some other stuff but I don’t remember what it was right now. I planted them in 4 packs so we’ll see what comes up. I’m a bit late on the planting I think but I guess any head start is better then none!

I have some flower seeds that I bought last year that I am going to try to plant today in flats and we’ll see what happens there. I’m not sure if the seeds are even any good anymore, especially since I only paid $0.20 each for the packets.

Dad took the tiller carburetor to get overhauled and we should have that back some time next week. Hopefully we can get the garden all tilled up and start getting some things planted out there soon. For our zone it looks like the last frost date is typically April 15-30 so there are a lot of plants we can’t get into the ground until after that, but we can start planting colder weather plants now like: lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, peas, carrots….the list goes on.

Potatoes need to be going in the ground here soon as well. I am planning on trying the container method this year. Sort of. I’m actually going to be using fencing instead of a container, but it should work out ok. It might turn out a bit more like compost potatoes. Its basically the same thing though.

I am going to be setting up a bed on the south side of the house for some rhubarb, I will be getting that in the ground this week. There used to be rhubarb over there once upon a time so I think it will grow well. There isn’t a lot of sun, but there is some, and it stays cool over there even in high summer so the rhubarb won’t get burned out. I got 3 crowns this year, and next year should be able to split them into 3-4 so I should have plenty after a couple years….or even have rhubarb coming out of my ears!

I cut down a bunch of brush growing in the fence line (you can see it in the background of the picture) as well as trimmed up a couple of trees, plus we took down a tree last year, plus we had a whole shed full or branches…..so, I’ve been burning.

A bunch.

There is so much brush to burn its absolutely ridiculous at this point. We’re lucky in where we live we can have a burn pit, but we can’t have bon fires with no pit. Believe me when I say we have enough brush to have one HELL of a bon fire. Its crazy. I’m trying to find somewhere to just rent a chipper and chip it all up and then we can use the resulting chipped wood for mulch in some of the parts of the yard that get muddier all year long. That would be nice. Not having any luck at this point, but I’m going to keep trying.

I also have been busy with the composting. We have an almost full composter going on right now and will have to get another one here soon so we can stop adding to the one we have and it can cook, then we can use it. I also set up the other composter we have for just kitty litter (and other misc “green” components to fill it out.) That one won’t be able to be used on the garden for edible stuff but I will be able to use it elsewhere on the yard. I just hated throwing away the kitty litter since it *can* be composted so that’s what we’re going to be doing.

I’m excited about having a garden this year. I can’t wait to start planting outside. Getting some seeds planted yesterday helped a bit but man, its been a hard, cold, miserable winter and I am so ready for spring and the smell of growing things in the air.

Oh, and did I mention warm weather?!

–Fin