Wednesday, March 27, 2013

HtH: Garden is In?

Technically, the best bed of my garden has been in since November, when I planted my garlic for overwintering.  The outer leaves (?) died back a little in the winter cold, but now they're sending up multiple new shoots.  Each green leaf (?) equals another clove in the bulb, so I'm happy to see their new spring growth.

If you look down the middle of the garlic bed, you will see a brassica that also survived over winter.  To be honest, I don't know if it's a broccoli, or a brussel sprout, or a cabbage.  I tried to start several of them, and the sprouts just kept dying on me, until I spotted this little guy near the edge of the bed where the water had washed the seed, so I transplanted him.  We'll see what he turns into.  Click through to see the rest.

Yes, I know I need to weed.  It's been downright nippy the last three days and I've barely been able to make myself go water the beds, much less dig at the ick.  Some of them are clover, so I tell myself they're beneficial, right?  Right?

I am trying to branch out.  I did start a bunch of tomatoes indoors in January.  About 50% of the stem was buried when I planted them, to encourage extra roots and make for stronger plants.  However, they have barely survived the transplanting process, and I forgot to put organic fertilizer in the trenches, because it was pretty darn cold and I hadn't worn a sweater.  Well above freezing, but still chilly with the winds.

I am also not encouraged by the fact that the bottom leaves fell off of a few of them.  I may have to resign myself to the idea that I am just not a tomato grower.  Which sucks because if I could grow enough tomatoes, I'd cut our grocery bill by 75%.  I'm not kidding.  Canned tomatoes, spaghetti sauce (we have spaghetti at least twice a week), pizza sauce, ketchup, barbecue sauce... we are tomato fiends.

I am taking the plunge with zucchini.  I have heard horror stories.  You know, the ones where the zucchini never seem to end, and you wind up leaving bags of them on your neighbor's porches when they're not looking?  Well I am not afraid.  For one, I love them as an oven-roasted vegetable (see my last post) and for two, they are just as good as cucumbers for pickling, if my Jardiniere I made last year is any indication.  That was made from store bought zucchini.  This year, I hope to make it from at least partly my own home-grown veggies.  We shall see.

And finally, I want to leave you with my rather unorthodox method of succession-planting radishes.

Yep, that's an Aerogarden with dirt in the chamber instead of growing hydroponically.  I'm basically using the Aerogarden as a timed grow light.  I am being very careful not to get water on the exposed contacts you see in the back, which are really there to close a connection to tell the water pump to run.  I'm not taking any chances just in case I ever want to use it as it was intended to be used again.

Those of you in colder climates (which in the US, is almost all of you) have fun putting in your own gardens soon!

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