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photos are not so current but it is a start! These are all in a second story window south facing. this window seems good for every thing except lettuce. Lettuce needs a grow light I think – all of mine is super leggy. This year I taped off sections of the trays and broadcast the seeds versus doing rows with markers indicating what it was. My tomatoes were mixed up last year and it was frustrating so I am hoping this method works better. I used a lot of year old seeds and it was interesting to see the difference in what has come up. 2010 Basil seeds – tons came up – 2009 about half as many. Generally it seems half as many up to two thirds as many came up. This is what I had been told so that worked for me!

My Sweet Peas are about 7 to 8 inches high and sending out vines to attach – so I need to get them outside. Too bad this is a wet and windy week. Everything else is so big and has multiple sets of leaves that I need to transplant all to bigger containers.

For the outside bed – I added Dr. Earth organic fertilizer from Sky Nursery to the bed and turned it under into the dirt. I have also added espresso grounds that I save all winter from my husband. A friend gave me extra row cover. It is pretty thin so I doubled it up and put it over everything outside.

I soaked all my beets, chard and sugar snap peas in water before planting outside. This is new for me so I will see if it will help. I am hoping. Three kinds of carrots are planted. I found one more kind – purple! and it will go in this week.

So my daughter was out with me in the garden. She was bored and I told her to dig and find worms. She loves loves loves worms so she happily collected a pile on top of an empty milk jug. They (of course) kept sliding off – she was so frustrated as she was digging them the best hole! she said. I told her to cover them with dirt till she was ready for them. She then decided to carefully smooth out all the dirt. Then she created “beds” for each of them, laid them on their “beds”, covered them up with dirt. She was so proud. She loves worms and I love that there seem to be so many in my dirt this year!

Lots of seeds planted outside in the last few days which is great because tomorrow is supposed to be 67 and sunny. I am covering most things with two layers of row cover. List of things planted soon.

I saw this years ago and could never find again – just did – so posting here so I do not lose it!

you can (apparently) maintain your regular tools for years in the following manner, written about by John Seymour in his book “The New Self-Sufficient Gardener:”

1.) Scrape the dirt off your shovels/forks/etc when you are going to put them away
2.) Keep a bucket full of sand mixed with oil (he suggests recycling used motor oil), deep enough to fully insert the head of your garden tool, inside your garden shed. ***can replace with vegetable oil which is better!!!
3.) When the dirt is mostly scraped off your tool, submerse it a few times in the sand. It is cleaned and oiled in fell swoop, insuring a rust-free tool

Really enjoying this blog – Diggin Food – at the bottom of this page there is a photo of lettuce – click and you get a very helpful pdf on succession lettuce planting. Yum is all I can say.

Also if you are crazy about peppers like we are – this article was great on growing and cooking, freezing peppers.

Yep – I am totally back into garden fever over here and doing tons of research and reading to prep for this year.

Updated on 3/29

So while reading another garden blog today I was impressed by her organization of the seeds she planted – Urban Hennery. So I realized it would be easy to list what I planted and when the seeds are from. I am later than I wanted to start seeds but two weeks earlier than last year! So that is a start. I am using a lot of seed packets from last year. They say you get less starts from seeds that are older but I have had a few gardeners tell me I will still get plenty. That way I did not have to buy too many more seeds. Wish I could find serrano pepper seeds but will just have to buy them as starts. I had wanted to order my seeds from catalogs so I would have more choice but again – another year! I am happy I have gotten this much done with how hectic our life has been. The kid shelped me seed all the lettuce and kale. This week I will fill clear plastic cups with dirt and let them seed whatever they want and put them in the window of their playroom so they can watch the seeds grow. Always their favorite thing. My daughter was especially excited about planting beets again – she says they are her favorite vegetable. My oldest son says lettuce is his fav. The youngest loves our carrots.

I planted all my seeds on 3/10 and 3/11 – I have a few more peppers and my basil to start. They are all in black flats with lids.

Sweet Peas Spencer Supreme entire packet ( Valley Greene 2009)

Organic Siskiyou Sweet Onion Heirloom entire packet (Seeds of Change 2009)

Organic Garden Sage Heirloom half packet (Seeds of Change 2009)

Organic Broccoli Raab half packet (Seeds of Change 2009)

Organic Di Cicco Broccoli Heirloom half packet (Seeds of Change 2009)

Wild Garden Kales quarter packet (Territorial Seed 2009)

Marketmore Cucumber quarter packet (Botanical Interests 2009)

Japanese Soyu Burpless Cucumber (Botanical Interests 2010) Planted on 3/14

Organic Ruby Orach Mountain Spinach heirloom third packet (Seeds of Change 2010) Planted on 3/14

Organic Samish Hybrid Spinach third packet – outside direct seed (Abundant Life 2010) Planted on 3/16

Organic Samish Hybrid Spinach third packet – outside direct seed (Abundant Life 2010) Planted on 3/16

Organic Swiss Chard 5 colored silver beet third packet – outside direct seed (Abundant Life 2010) Planted on 3/16

Organic Vates Collards third packet – outside direct seed (Seeds of Change 2009) Planted on 3/16

Super Sugar Snap Peas half packet – outside direct seed in two rows, soaked for two hours then covered in Bioscience Inoculant – (Territorial Seed 2010) Planted on 3/16

Organic Falltime Leek half packet – one row direct seed outside (Seeds of Change 2009)

Basils – Planted on 3/14

Organic Sweet Basil third packet (Territorial Seed 2009)

Mammoth Sweet Basil third packet (Territorial Seed 2009)

Profuno di Genova Basil third packet (Renee’s Garden 2009)

Organic Sacred Basil third packet (Irish Eyes Garden 2010)

Lettuces

Organic Emerald Oak Lettuce quarter packet (Seeds of Change 2009)

London Springs Lettuce Mix quarter packet (Territorial Seed 2009)

Baby Mesclun Lettuce quarter packet (Renee’s Garden 2009)

Deer Tongue Lettuce quarter packet (Territorial Seed 2009)

Lettuce Mix Starts from PCC planted outside on 3/25

Tomatoes

Organic Black Cherry Tomato third of a packet (Abundant Life 2010)

Organic Gill’s All Purpose Tomato third of a packet (Abundant Life 2010)

Organic Purple Calabash Tomato half a packet (Territorial Seed 2009) * one of my favs from 09

Orange Oxheart Heirloom Tomato half a packet (Territorial Seed 2009)* one of my favs from 09

Northern Delight 2in Tomato half a packet (Territorial Seed 2009)

Gold Nugget Cherry Tomato half a packet (Territorial Seed 2009)

Organic Chadwick Cherry Tomato half a packet (Seeds of Change 2009)* one of my favs from 09

Organic Thessaloniki Tomato half a packet (Seeds of Change 2009)

Organic Tomatillo Verde half a packet (Seeds of Change 2009) my husband’s favorite by far in 09

Black Krim Pole Tomato half a packet (Botanical Interests 2009)

Peppers so far –

Ancho Magnifico Hybrid Pepper third of a packet (Territorial Seed 2010)

Sierra Fuego Jalapeno Pepper a few seeds left (Renee’s Garden 2009) this and the next two came in a mixed packet last year – I planted without knowing what was what. This year I know!

San Luis Ancho Pepper a few seeds left (Renee’s Garden 2009)

Joe Parker New Mex Pepper a third (Renee’s Garden 2009)

Orange Fogo Thai Chili Pepper a few seeds left (Renee’s Garden 2009)

Red Demon Chili Pepper a few seeds left (Renee’s Garden 2009)

Spanish Padron Tapas Pepper whole packet(Renee’s Garden 2010)

Mini Snack Baby Belle Pepper whole packet(Renee’s Garden 2010)

Organic Early Jalapeno half packet (Abundant Life 2010) Planted on 3/14

Organic Anaheim Pepper third packet (Irish Eyes Garden 2010) planted on 3/26

Beets

Organic Bull’s Blood Beets half packet outside direct seed (Territorial Seed 2009) planted 3/16

Gourmet Golden Beets half packet outside direct seed (Renee’s Garden 2010) planted 3/16

Chiogga Beets half packet outside direct seed (Ed Hume 2010) planted 3/16

Carrots

Yellow and Orange Sunshine Mix Carrots  half packet outside direct seed (Renee’s Garden 2009) planted 3/16

French Baby Babette Carrots  half packet outside direct seed (Renee’s Garden 2009) planted 3/16

Organic Scarlet Nantes Carrots  half packet outside direct seed (from WS edible garden fair 2009) planted 3/16

Spring time is coming

so I had better get started. i went on a walk with my kids the other day – (an achievement considering my hibernating status this winter) and saw crocuses, daffodils, forsythia blooming as well as camelias too. Hyacinths out of the ground but not blooming yet.

made me realize i need to get busy thinking about seeds and what am i going to plant. overall i think last year was pretty successful. because of the mild winter, my broccolini survived and it is growing again – i sauteed some the other day and it was great. amazing. all my fall things i planted have survived and are starting to grow a bit. Considering I did nothing at all this winter, i am impressed. I had planted more broccoli as well so I see us eating lots of broccoli.

i am getting ready to sort through left over seeds and then start planning out what to plant and where and consider what seeds i still need. i know i want to grow delicata squash this year. i need to learn more about winter squash – my buttercup squash went bad before we could eat them except for the baby one which was tasty. the skin on the little one stayed green and shiny – the skin on the others became matte and subdued. I am guessing the answer lie there.

more posting soon.

Well – it is definitely fall and the rain has set in. About two weeks ago I think we had an early projected frost – I ran out and grabbed all the remaining tomatoes which were many. A good amount were bad when ripened but some have been good. I need to spend some good hours tiding up the garden beds but no time to be had.

I have planted a winter garden but have cared for it little since planting around the 26th of Sept so we will see if it is fruitful. I did cover it for the frost. I need to build a cloche but not sure it will happen. Planted spinach, two kinds of kale, chard, broccoli and cabbage as well as onions and spring onions. The lettuce I had planted earlier has delivered some lettuce but not much. Also getting some chard from the little starts that never took off in May. I have tons of broccoli – need to pick some actually.

I keep meaning to dedicate a whole post to tomatoes but it might not happen. I was not feeling very good about my tomato harvest originally. Then I realized I started my seeds very late – 3rd week of March – so of course my harvest would be late. I ended up with quite a lot. For weeks I ate multiple tomatoes a day which was glorious. Some really delicious tomato and mayo sandwiches. The plants on the deck did not produce as well but that dirt was from last year – although generously amended. Farmer Wade told me to only use the dirt once for tomatoes every three years. Still great for other things – just not tomatoes. Purple Calabash and Black Krim were well worth it even if they did not produce many. The ones they did produce were divine.

I need to be much more careful with labeling my starts. Thought I had lots of Thessaloniki – only ended up with one! But it is a keeper.

So my list from the beginning of summer with notes for next winter when starting again:

Black Krim – yes – produces few but delicious – splits easily

Purple Calabash – yes – produces few

Thessaloniki (in honor of my brother who lives in Thessaloniki) – yes – takes awhile

Chadwick Cherry – excellent – yes – large cherry take awhile but then strong producer

Sugar Sweetie Cherry – no – were not good producers and way too small

Northern Delight – yes – not huge producers

Orange Oxheart – yes – need heat. Husband’s fav

Red Siberian – no – took forever and did not have good flavor – grown in diff places did not help.

Golden Nugget Cherry – yes – not huge producers

Tomatillos – yes – strong producer. and was planted even later than the others!

I want to plant my seeds as early as possible need to figure out when I should – either late Jan or early Feb. Need to plant much less so I do not have a zillion starts. I really want to grow enough so that I can can sauce or freeze.

I did freeze about three trays of basil – did some just in water not olive oil. Should do more of the mammoth next year less of the others.

The four winter squash are waiting to sweeten up – will try to wait till December as the Jubilee Farms farmer recommended to me. Wonderful farm they have.

Hot peppers – I am still amazed I grew anchos from seed – they were good. Also have many Thai chilis. And I got two orange peppers from a start I bought. Both were delicious! The purple jalapeno turned a gorgeous shade of red. But they were not hot? Even though they were ready to pick and the frost came….We also got a few pasillos and a few other kinds I grew…

I had left some carrots in and harvested some end of Sept – two were enormous!!! Pictures below. A few more still out there, soon to come in.

the enormous carrots!

the enormous carrots!

harvest in late Sept - the sun stayed late this year.

harvest in late Sept - the sun stayed late this year.

the beet starts and kale starts in late Sept.

the beet starts and kale starts in late Sept.

the broccoli in late Sept

the broccoli in late Sept

Late Sept. yummy, delicious and scrumptious

Late Sept. yummy, delicious and scrumptious

peppers in early October

peppers in early October

frozen basil and a Black Krim

frozen basil and a Black Krim

yummy tomatoes

yummy tomatoes

some broccoli and tomatoes early Oct

some broccoli and tomatoes early Oct