Garden Update

by - February 10, 2017

Over the past few weeks I have worked old garden beds, erected domes for sugar snap peas and relocated hoards of rudbekia volunteers to other areas of the yard. I took a trip out to Home Depot and picked up several bags of organic garden soil that were on clearance, a big block of peat moss and a jug of fish emulsion for the garlic and onions. With the soil now rich and fluffy, limed and smoothed over, it is ready for cool season crops.

Yesterday, I planted two domes with peas (5 and 13/14) , sprinkled out a pinch of pepperbox poppies (5), and sowed an area of baby leaf kale (under dome in 5). The teal raised bed (12) was sown with broccoli seeds. Another large bed (16) is already loaded with carrots, spinach and dill, so I won't touch it other than to try and pull out weeds.  The center bed has overwintered Brussels sprouts one side (13) and onions and garlic on the other (14). There is one section fully dedicated to composing cardboard and leaves (3), and the bed under the deck (1) is a mix of unidentified greens and coffee grounds. There is one last garden bed (15) that I dread working as it is half covered with cardboard, matted with weeds and has a drip hose winding all through it. I may just lay out more cardboard and let it continue to rest until it's needed for the summer. The teepees (7 and 8) will be reserved for pole beans to be planted later. The strawberries (9) have cardboard between the rows and need a good mulching. Gladiator alliums have sprouted behind the potted mint (2).

Last night I thumbed through my seed binder and clicked around on Amazon and eBay looking for seeds. With tomato sprouts now popping up in the seed trays, it's time to prepare for other crops. While there is a huge variety in the binder, it is mainly assortments of herbs, beans and tomatoes. What I need are a few varieties of lettuce. It seems that when I do get lettuce, it always is so bitter that I can't enjoy it. The two varieties that we have been able to enjoy are a baby butterhead and romaine, and I don't know if that was due to the timing of growing them or the varieties. Bitter lettuce is usually blamed on heat.

It's really hard not to buy all the seeds. Plenty of sellers on eBay have affordable prices with either free shipping or special deals where you buy two get one free. I'm naturally a collector, so I love variety and trying to grow many different things. What I ended up purchasing yesterday (40 Heirloom Vegetable Strains) was something I probably don't need, but with the variety for the price of less than $15, it was a no-brainer of a purchase. There were enough items on the list that I wanted, that if I were to purchase them individually, it would have totaled higher than what I paid.  I've bolded the ones I "needed" on the list below. This is not to say I won't use the others or at least find another home for them, but I either already have something similar or don't eat them. Eleven packets of seed easily would have cost me just as much.

Includes the following::
1. Arugula, Slow Bolt ˜ 500 Seeds 21. Lettuce, Red Romaine ˜ 1,600 Seeds
2. Asparagus, Mary Washington ˜ 12 Seeds 22. Okra, Spineless ˜ 25 Seeds
3. Bean, Blue Lake Bush ˜ 12 Seeds 23. Onion, Yellow Spanish ˜ 50 Seeds
4. Beet, Detroit Dark Red ˜ 105 Seeds 24. Pea, Green Arrow ˜ 24 Seeds
5. Broccoli, Calabrese ˜ 445 Seeds 25. Pumpkin, Big Max ˜ 4 Seeds
6. Brussels Sprouts, Long Island ˜ 315 Seeds 26. Radish, Cherry Belle ˜ 100 Seeds
7. Cabbage, Red Acre ˜ 315 Seeds 27. Rutabaga, American Purple Top ˜ 450 Seeds
8. Cantaloupe, Hale's Best Jumbo ˜ 40 Seeds 28. Spinach, Giant Nobel ˜ 100 Seeds
9. Carrot, Scarlet Nantes ˜ 2,200 Seeds 29. Sunflower, Peredovik ˜ 12 Seeds
10. Cauliflower, Snowball Y ˜ 450 Seeds 30. Squash, Black Beauty ˜ 8 Seeds
11. Celery, Utah ˜ 3500 Seeds 31. Swiss Chard, Large White Rib ˜ 40 Seeds
12. Collards, Georgia Southern ˜ 315 Seeds 32. Tomato, Beefsteak ˜ 60 Seeds
13. Corn, Bilicious ˜ 10 Seeds 33. Tomato, Red Cherry ˜ 175 Seeds
14. Cucumber, Boston Pickling ˜ 40 Seeds 34. Turnip, Purple Top ˜ 400 Seeds
15. Eggplant, Black Beauty ˜ 165 Seeds 35. Pepper, Sweet Yolo ˜ 70 Seeds
16. Honeydew, Green Flesh ˜ 40 Seeds 36. Pepper, Cayenne ˜ 45 Seeds
17. Kale, Blue Scotch Curled ˜ 315 Seeds 37. Pepper, Jalapeno ˜ 90 Seeds
18. Lettuce, Buttercrunch ˜ 1,600 Seeds 38. Pepper, Sweet Banana ˜ 65 Seeds
19. Lettuce, Iceberg ˜ 1,600 Seeds 39. Victoria Rhubarb ˜ 25 Seeds
20. Lettuce, Parris Island ˜ 1,600 Seeds 40. Watermelon, Crimson Sweet ˜ 12 Seeds

There are still other things I'm eyeing, like foxglove. I planted three last year but only one managed to survive. Seeds were spilled from the flowers before they died, so there may be others that sprout on their own.

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