Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fall 2011 Update!

Ok, so it's been awhile since my last post.  I seem to get caught up in summer with work, and gardening and I forget about posting updates!   So here's a little update and what I hope to accomplish this winter on here!

Garden:  As you know my dad and I tried a new spot for our garden.  Due to a really wet spring we got a late planting start.  So we didn't get any peas at all.  The new spot worked out great!  We planted over 180 tomato plants, over 150 pumpkin seeds, corn, zucchini, yellow squash, butternut squash, potatoes and peppers.  I have over 50 canned pints of green beans, frozen corn, frozen squash, frozen hot peppers, tomato juice and crushed tomatoes!  I should have enough veggies for the whole winter!  The greens I planted didn't do well either.  I had a LOT of lettuce, most of which came up wild from the previous year!  So we had an entire row of FREE lettuce!  So we'll definitely be planting in that spot next year.  We expanded the size and we have around 5,000 square feet of planting space I believe.  Next season we'll be planting the veggies in different spots because of the way the sun hits that area we had pumpkin vines going everywhere.  The ground has already been prepared for spring.  We used a plough and tore up the whole spot and spread manure which we get free at the fairgrounds.  We also put leaves all over the original spot.  All of this will rot over the winter and be ready for planting in spring.  So stay tuned!  Before you know it I'll be posting my seed list (which I'll probably start making next month) and this time I SWEAR I'll post pictures!  I got a little discouraged last spring with it being so rainy that it just didn't get done.  I'll keep you posted!

Wintertime:  Ok, so I've got only one project this winter (so far).  I've done a bit of research on how to plant apple trees from seeds.  So I've got a bag of apples from the orchard here in town that I'm going to save the seeds from and try to start them here in the house this winter.   I've got both Fuji and Honeycrisp apples to try.  I think it would be great to get ALL of my fruit and veggies from what I've grown!  So I'll be posting soon on the process, and I'll take photos of what I'm doing.  Also if you have any other planting projects for me to try out, let me know!  I'll give it a shot if I can!  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Seeds Started!

Ok, I have definitely gotten a bit of a late start this year on starting my seeds!  I finally have gotten Supersteak Tomatoes and San Marzano Tomatoes started indoors as of 2 days ago.  I also just started today Swan Gourds.  This is a decorative gourd that has a long germination period.  I'm hoping that by starting them now, I should have some nice swan shaped gourds that can be painted once they've dried.

You should have already purchased your seeds!  Trust me, now things will get more difficult to find!  I had a hard time getting Kale seeds because I forgot to order them...luckily a new seed place opened in town and they've got a wide variety of things to choose from.

In the garden we've planted green onions, peas, and kale. We still need to plant the Bibb lettuce and spinach!  I will keep updating this as we go and hopefully post pics of some sprouts and the new garden location soon.  Get your plants started!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Garden Update

Ok, its been awhile since my last post.  I have gotten a bit of a late start this spring with my indoor tomato seed starting.  My seeds should be here any day.  So far I've ordered these seeds:

Patty Pan Squash

Maxibel (Haricot Verts) style Green Beans - these are a long thin variety.  You'll see many recipes featuring this French style green bean.

Super Steak Tomatoes - Large sandwich tomatoes

San Marzano Tomatoes - Italian variety used for making sauce and in salads

Mexican Sour Gherkin - an heirloom cucumber variety that are the size of grapes, they look like mini watermelons and have a tart taste!

When my parents are back from Florida, we'll get peas, onions, more green beans, butternut squash, acorn squash, corn, kale, lettuce, zucchini and peppers.  There could be more I'm leaving out.  The garden will be expanded this year also!  Last year we had 2100 square feet of garden...I'm not sure of the exact measurements of the garden this year, but it will be in a different location!  I'm going to try and get my tomato seeds started indoors this week!  Once they've sprouted I'll post some pictures!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Gardening With Kids

Gardening with kids can have a great impact on their lives.  I know because I've been helping and growing vegetables since I was a small kid!  It might seem trivial but many lessons for kids can be learned by gardening with them.  Responsibility, math, science, problem solving, record keeping (for older kids), sustainability, environmental issues (again, older kids) are just a few things to be learned in the garden.  Another big lesson learned is healthy eating.  Kids are more likely to eat their vegetables if they helped grow them.

How do you get kids interested in gardening?  Its not very difficult at all.  First of all most small kids want to be wherever you're at to begin with. Second most kids like being outside, playing in dirt and with bugs.  All of which are in the garden!  Small kids can also be enticed to gardening by planting theme based gardens.  What I mean by this is planting a garden with a defined purpose.  Plant a "Pizza Garden" with basil, tomatoes, peppers, and onions!  When you harvest your veggies you can make a pizza with them!  Try out a "Stir Fry Garden" with onions, peppers, pea pods, beans, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower!  Another option is to use kids books as a way to plant a theme based garden.  Peter Rabbit for instance had a garden of beets, radishes, rhubarb, mint, lemon balm, tansy, lavender, chamomile, hyssop, sage, rosemary and strawberries!  You don't have to plant everything on the list but kids will enjoy having a garden like Peter Rabbit.   If a theme based garden isn't for you, there are all sorts of "odd colored" veggies that might spark interest, such as orange cauliflower, and purple carrots!

Older kids will enjoy planting pumpkins for Halloween and keeping a journal of their growth.  Once pumpkins appear on the vine, its a great idea to use a tape measure to measure them every couple of days to see how much they grow and how fast!   At the end of their growing season they get to carve what they've grown and help toast the seeds!  Older kids will like the Pizza Garden ideas too, because I don't think I've ever met a kid who didn't love pizza!

So, what are you waiting for?  Now is the time to be planning out your spring and summer garden!  Get a plan together and make a list of seeds to try out!  Here are a few places I've ordered seeds from that have great seeds and great service.

Johnny's Selected Seeds
Nichol's Nursery
Burpee Seeds