Monday, April 2, 2012

Weigh In On Your Garden Plans

Last Saturday we finally planted our vegetable garden!

Six weeks late, but the peas are in. So are the radishes, onions, lettuce, spinach, carrots, potatoes and beets.

By the way, in the future I'll be buying beet seed in bulk, 'cause that stuff is a total ripoff. Each seed only produces a single beet, and the $1.89 package I got contained only 16 seeds!

Anyway, in a few weeks we'll be able to plant the herbs, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant (for more baba ghanoush!). I don't think we have enough room for corn, melons, squash, nor cucumbers, sadly.

Last year we had an awesome discussion about this, and inspired by your comments I planted a bunch of new things! What's going in your garden this year? Or what should I include in mine?


Karen said...

The beet seeds are actually a cluster of seeds, so you will get more than one beet from each seed you planted.  I'm not sure how many you will get, but it will definitely be more than 16 beets that sprout. They will have to be thinned.  That being said, though, the quantity of seed in a pack is shrinking in direct realtion to the price increases.  That is one of the reasons I am going with heirloom seeds. 

Jenna St. Hilaire said...

Good to know about the beets... I should probably get out there and plant those. I've got lettuce and spinach in the ground, with kale and Russian banana potatoes next in line. Beans, pumpkins and zucchini should follow.

My basil and chive starts are coming up, and a couple of people have some tomatoes started for me, which I'm very excited about. The oregano seems to be coming  back, the thyme is holding strong, and the Egyptian walking onions are a few inches tall and growing very haphazardly--one of them positively refuses to stay in the ground.

Also very excited about the blueberry and currant bushes. :D

Farmer's City Wife said...

Ooh... thanks for the info about the beets (and for correcting so gently)! You're so right :). I'm trying to do all heirloom seeds this year, too, but I don't know how to save 'em at the end of the season. This will be a year of major garden learning!

Farmer's City Wife said...

Apparently I was wrong, and we'll get more than one beet per seed... but not enough to justify $1.89 and a whole bed in my garden, hehe.
I'm trying AGAIN with the basil this year. Everybody says it's the plant you can't kill, the plant that will take over, yadayadayada. I've gotten exactly one pesto pasta dish out of my three years' attempt!
Oh blueberries!! Oh currants!! Oh how I would love thee! Thanks for the ideas, Jenna!

Karen said...

Let the seed mature on the plant,  if it is an annual like peas, radishes, beans.  Pick the seeds, let them dry really, really well.  I put them in a paper bag and let them sit in a dry place for a month or until I remember I put them there.  Labelling the bag is probably good.  Biennials like beets, carrots will need to be left in the ground until the following year when they will resprout and flower.  Then collect those seeds and dry them like the others.  Once they are dried you just need to keep them dry until you want to plant.  Squash seeds can just be saved from a squash you are cutting up to use.  They just have to have been grown away from other squash family members or the seed you save will probably be a hybrid.  It might be a pleasant surprise, or a total dud.  Tomatoes are a bit harder to save the seed from as they need special treatment.  It can be done, but involves soaking and messing around with the pulp, and I haven't bothered yet.  The seed you save has to be from an open polinated variety or you won't be sure what you are going to get. 

Apparently each beet "seed" is actually a clump of four or five seeds.

Emily Sparks said...

My husband has quite the green thumb.  This will be our third year gardening.  We currently have:
Several blueberry bushes, which thrive on the mountain.  We put them in 2 years ago, so I think next year we'll start getting a good yield.
2 New blackberry plants, and thornless.  My older son ADORES blackberries, so I'm glad we will have our own in a few years, instead of having to buy them.
A dozen heads of garlic, which we planted last fall as an experiment.  I think it should be good.  They certainly seem to be growing well.
Romain lettuce, growing wonderfully.  Time to go on the offense against beetles, though.
Broccoli, which seems to be doing OK.
Spinach, just starting to sprout.

We will be planting soon:Juliet tomatoes.  They are wonderfully sweet cherry tomatoes that grow really well up here.  We grow them in earth boxes.  Have you tried earth boxes?
Bell peppers, regular sized and "baby bells," wonderful little sweet peppers that are amazing on salad with some oil and vinegar

I think that is all for this year.  

Emily Sparks said...

By the way, I am ashamed to say I have never had the courage or opportunity to taste a beet.  How are they?  What is the best way to make them the first time you have them?

karlab71 said...

I found this Catholic seed company, all heirloom seeds, you might like it! There is also great information on gardening on this site.

Farmer's City Wife said...

Oh, Karen, thank you so much!! I've noted all of this down, and (should I do it successfully), it'll save me so much $$ next year!

Farmer's City Wife said...

No, I've never tried (nor heard of) earth boxes. Are they season extenders like little natural greenhouses? I LOVE baby bells! I'm not so good at starting seeds, so I think I'm going to have to hope our nurseries carry them :).

How awesome that you can grow blueberries! Ours have never done much... but then we never took care to acidify the soil. :)

Farmer's City Wife said...

I LOVE them. I think roasted in salt and butter is probably the very best, but I love them boiled, sliced & pickled (just seasoned overnight with salt, vinegar, oil, and pepper) almost as well.

Farmer's City Wife said...

Oh, Karla, what a goldmine! I've never heard of them, but next year I'll be placing a HUGE order with them! I've been looking for a good company and was tired with the small heirloom selection at Gurney's. Thank you SO much for this!

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