I've been getting lots of questions lately on my garden, so I thought today I'd bring you up to speed on what (and how!) we've got things started on the homestead. Because we are in a short season climate, it is still too early to plant lots of vegetables outside. Heat-loving plants (like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers) wouldn't fare so well if they were stuck out in the elements quite yet! They'd shiver their little leaves off and we'd be left with a tomato plant – naked as a jaybird. What a sad state of affairs that would be!
Usually, I aim for the first or second weekend of May to get everything moved outside. By then, the danger of the last frost has passed.
And we are all so happy when that happens!
Even though we still have about a month until we move some of the veggies outside, there is still lots to be working on!
Our Current Outside Plantings:
Some vegetables don't mind the cold, so they can already be planted directly outside!
1. Carrots: Three different varieties, just to keep things spicy! I planted these two weeks ago and will do another planting of them this weekend.
2. Parsnips: A favorite of my husbands, ever since he visited England and had them roasted. Which I must admit, are quite tasty! I planted two weeks ago also, and will continue to do three week interval planting through the growing season. They can be harvested all through the fall and winter!
3. Onions: Get these bad boys goin'! Another great one to succession plant again in a week or two. Which reminds me, it's time to plant more. I'm hoping to grow enough to last us through the winter – no small task, because we eat a lot of them. It's gonna take some planning and work!
4. Lettuce/Spinach: Already making their appearance, I am so eager to finally have fresh lettuce from our garden! This is the first year I have planted lettuce and am really hoping for some great results. I planted this two weeks ago and will do another planting every three weeks through the summer and fall. I am eager to see these grow!
5. Potatoes: Three varieties, that I forgot. Stupid me! Supposedly, I got the varieties well adapted for storage…but we'll see. I'll have to ask Bruce at Valley Feed which varieties they are again so I can harvest/store them properly. If you're looking for potato seed, make sure you go visit Bruce. He carries unique organic varieties – I just wish I remember what they were! As previously discussed here, ahem, because I am lazy and absent minded, I'm just hopin' these danged things grow. I will do a second planting of them in a week or two.
6. Beets: I love beets. They just taste like summer to me. Summer and dirt. Mostly dirt. I didn't nearly grow enough last year, so we are trying a few varieties this year. Bulls Blood, one we grew last year, and also ###, which is an heirloom variety. Can't wait to see the results!
7. Swiss Chard: This is another new addition to the garden this year. I am hoping that it grows well – I have no idea what I am doing with it! I love the thrill of ignorance! What a rush!
8. Chives: My ones from last year returned, but I wanted to grow more this year, so I emptied an entire seed packet into the garden. Overkill? Perhaps.
Our Current Indoor Plantings: In order to get a jump start on other vegetables (that can't withstand the cold night temperatures), we have started a few inside to nurture them along. I've found that my cucumbers and beans are much more successfully grow if I just start them directly outside. After several years of mixed results, I gave up on starting them inside and just say foo-ey with it.
1. Peppers: Napoleon Sweet and Sweet Chocolate. Two new heirloom varieties we are trying this year – and it's my first time starting pepper plants from seed. Lawdy, help me. Hope these are big producers – slicing peppers and freezing them is a great way to preserve them through the winter!
2. Eggplant: Listada de Gandia. Sounds fancy, huh? I really hope these are a success this year. The plants are doin' mighty well so far, so I hope to have some good results! If I didn't start these inside, there would be no hope for them this summer. They just take too long to produce fruit in our short season climate. I am optimistic, though!
3. Kale: Lacinato. Kale is another new addition to our garden this year. I am so anxious to see this bad boy grow! We eat a ton of it – and whats neat is that you can continue to harvest it through the fall and winter! Perfect way to keep the bounty comin', even into the cold seasons. Apparently, it tastes even sweeter after a few frosts. How 'bout them apples.
While there is still a lot more to be planted, this at least is a snapshot into what's going on in our garden already! It's amazing how quickly the growing season sneaks up on us – every year!
So, instead of typing this, I should be outside working. I should be digging a trench to prepare the bed for my cucumbers. I should be raking the leaves out of the other empty bed and preparing the soil for planting. I should be starting more peppers inside and planting more carrots, parsnips, and beets. I should be turning my compost pile and scooping up the dog poo that is surround my beds.
Instead, I am inside, on the computer, typing this post. Hmm. And I wonder why I can't get things accomplished.
Must go now. Apparently, I have things to do.