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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Planting vegetables



I planted the first of the spring vegetables today.  It may be too early, as I am not sure the soil temperature has warmed to 65 degrees.


Tomatoes
I planted five tomatoes.  Unfortunately, I seem to have thrown away the labels, so I don't exactly remember what I planted.  I decided to try some heirlooms this year.  At the strong recommendation of a fellow shopper, I purchased two Black Krim.  The same shopped also recommended Yellow pear as a variety of cherry tomato. I purchased one other kind, and honestly can't remember what it was.  And one of the plants I purchased seemed to have two in the same pot, so I seperated them and planted each.  

Jalapeno
Beside the tomatoes I planted two jalapeno pepper plants.  I'm not sure why I planted two.  I really like to plant one jalapeno and one bell pepper.  I might go back and get a bell pepper (even though I am the only one who eats them!)

Tomatillos
I usually plant tomatillos from seed, but I noticed two lone plants hidden among the tomatoes.  The cost of the two small plants was only slightly more than a package of seeds, so I decided to cut to the chase and purchase the plants.  My goal this year is to learn how to use these guys in salsa.  

Cucumbers
Along the front and side fence I planted three different varieties of cucumber from seeds.  I designated them by crayon color.  The light green is the English Cucumber from Renee's Garden.  The red crayon is the Homemade Pickles from Botanical Interests and the Blue crayons are Aremenian Burpless from Botanical Interests.  I planted three or so of each variety.  I am hoping to get out there and plant three more of the pickling kind this week.  Dave is dying to make some pickles, and wants a big harvest at one time!

I spoke at length with someone from Natural Gardener, and she gave me some suggestions,

Zucchini

I was in the seed aisle, and speaking to a rather informed salesperson who helped me select some varieties of cucumbers.  Idly, I tlkd her about my frustration of only getting a harvest of two from zucchini before the squash vine borer killed it.  She recommended I try two different varieties.  First, she suggested the Tatuma (Calabacita) from Botanical Interests.  She said this winter squash was very similar to a summer squash if picked early, and could replace zucchini in any recipe. 

She also recommended the Container Zucchini (Astia) from Renee's Garden.  She said if you move the pot around, the beetle borer couldn't find it.  She also siad the plant was really cute.  I thought for $1.59 I'd go ahead and give it a try :o)

I intend to also go back and get some seeds for the regular Zucchini and plant two of those as well.  I'm not sure when or where I am going to plant these suckers yet, though...





My winter garden still seems to be doing fairly well.  

Potatoes 
I have a bunch of potatoes that have just started to come up.  

Lettuce
My lettuce is doing very well, though Kyle said the last bunch was starting to taste bitter.  It may be because we were gone for a week, and the outer leaves have gotten old.

Onions
My onions are all looking very good.  I have no idea how to know when I should pick them! Okay, I just looked on the internet and it seems like 50-60 days after planting the onions sets.  I should watch the the onions stalks to start to fall over and turn yellow.  When 80% of them have fallen over, I pull up my first one. Based on my planting date of February 15th, I'm thinking in the next two weeks I might try pulling one up!

Asparagus
I do still have a few asparagus stalks, but they all look rather spindly and sad.  I'll try to keep them alive this year, and plant some new stalks next year as well.

After a nice rain the other day, I went out and counted, and noticed and number of the crowns have put up second stalks.  Hopefully the second stalks will do better than the first.  I think I need to water them more?  Right now, I have around 14 stalks up.  A small number compared to the 40 I planted, but better than nothing for a first try!

Artichoke
I have seen nothing from this guy since I planted him.  I'm thinking he's dead. Maybe I can try again next year.


Cilantro

My free cilantro is still going great guns.  This guys is crazy, producing waaaay more cilantro then even I can eat.


Monday, March 3, 2014

A very late freeze



We have had a very cold front come through this weekend.  Temperatures down to 24 last night and a low tonight of 31.


I'm thinking all of my plants are probably not going to make it.  I had quite a few shoots coming up :o(

At one point I had 12 asparagus shoots come up.  A few died (I don't know why) soon after emerging.  I'm guessing the few remaining soldiers will have passed last night.

Ah well, maybe I'll try asparagus again next year.


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