Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Starting the winter garden

Since I enjoyed the fruits of last year's winter garden so much, I decided to try it again.

This year, both boys need to do a "family project" for boy scouts, so they decided to design and plant the garden with me.  Which was a lot of fun!  We picked out all of the winter vegetables we wanted to plant - only to find that not all of them were available at Natural Gardener... so from there, we just winged it.


We knew we wanted onions, since those were so easy and well used last year. 

Last year I purchased just one bundle of onion seedlings.  But Kyle wanted to pick out a different variety this year, so we purchased two bundles. 

With fifty plants in each bundle, we don't have enough room to plant them all.  So we planted two rows of one variety, and three rows of another. 

Unfortunately, the bundles were unmarked, so we don't know which is which :o)

We also wanted to purchase some lettuce, so I let the boys pick out whichever looked best to them.  

From the fall, I still have two plants of the red lettuce going.  The green lettuce has bolted and the spinach was not liked at all.  But we've got plenty of red!

So, I told the boys to pick out something green.  

Dylan found one he liked called Lettuce Oakleaf, "Salad Bowl".  It looked like one we picked out last year that we all liked for its nutty flavor.

Kyle found two he liked: Lettuce, Looseleaf, "Italienisher" and Lettuce Batavian "Nevada", .  Since we have been eating a lot of salads recently, which went with the three plants.

I picked out an additional 15 asparagus crowns.  Last year only about half came up.  I now realize it was because I planted them too deep.  I tried planting these a little less deep.  In digging the holes for the new crowns (interspersed among the old), I did accidentally cut into some old roots.  I am really hoping I didn't kill the old making way for the new!

Looking at my notes from last year, I planted the first asparagus shoots just a day earlier than I did this year, and they first shoot came up on February 15th. 


While we were there, we realize they had strawberries.  Yum!!  The boys picked out two varieties (again, we didn't remember their names...).  We bought four plants, two of each.  Only after we picked them out did we realize that each small box had five plants a piece in it.  

We knew there wasn't room in our main garden, so we bought 4 bags of Hill Country Soil to put in the no-longer-used sand box.  Only after we got home did I realize that a) it is in shade by 1pm these days b) it doesn't have a fence to keep the dogs out.  But we decided to try it anyway.  We planted fifteen of the plants in that bed, and then the other five in the corner of the garden bed. Only after I went out this morning to take the photo did I realize that *that* corner is also very shaded.  So, we'll have to see how our plants do!


The kids got kind of side tracked while we were there, and wanted to also get some raspberry brambles.  When I explained to the gardener working there that we have had no luck with our existing blackberries, she said they might be too shaded.  So we also purchased two blackberry brambles.  Now I am not sure where we will plant those...

The boys love carrots and really wanted to plant some again this year.  We planted a few last year, but wish we had planted more.  They each picked out a variety:

Snacking Carrots Rotild from Renee's Garden
Days to germinate: 10-20

Days to Harvest:  70

Sunshine Carrots (Yellow and Orange mix)
Days to Germinate: 10 - 20 days
Days to Harvest:  88

The first carrots should be ready around the first of April, and the second variety mid-April. 

Can't wait!!

They also wanted to plant some radishes, so they picked out the "Crimson Giant" variety.
Days to Germinate:  5 - 10 days

Days to Harvest:  Not given

In looking at teh seed packet, I realized two things.  First, this packet of seeds plants ten 9 foot rows.  Whoops.  We used most of the packet on one 4 foot row.  Guess we'll be thinning them out some!  Also, it suggested doing successive planting.  We do have a few seeds left, so maybe I will try planting some more in a couple of weeks.

Plum Tree
When Kyle saw the plum trees, he couldn't resist.  I did explain that it would be a minimum of three years before we'd get our first plum (he'll be in highschool!?!)  But he really wanted to plant one, and they were only $15, so we went ahead and bought one.  I have not been very successful with bare roots, so we'll see how this one does.  

Probably the best part of this was seeing how much Dylan and Kyle enjoyed digging the deep hole for the tree.  Usually my least favorite part, they went at it with gusto :o)

And I think that was all we planted.  Now we just water, wait and fertilize.  

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