Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
I don't remember any blooms in the garden so I didn't even try to make the Bloom Day post, but it's nice to see something showing signs of spring. And are you noticing the additional daylight each day?
I thinned out the compost over the garlic and will let it grow. 'Course, that close together, I don't know if it will mature. Maybe I should try to thin each bunch?
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Click on the label, below, to see monthly garden photos throughout the year. How hard it is to remember even August 2008. And 2008 was such an odd summer. The flowers and herbs were content, but the beans and many other vegetables where just not very happy.
Monday, January 12, 2009
After a few years of growing a lettuce mix, not knowing for sure which plant went with which name, last year, I picked specific varieties: Speckles and Crisp Mint. Still growing some remainder of the mix, but noted where I planted these two.
I will be growing more Speckles this year. I tend to pick the leaves as needed and let it keep growing. I thought these were good all spring and summer. I did start new plants a few times during the year, although I cannot remember if any of the Speckles plants bolted.
I will also grow Crisp Mint again. It is a romaine lettuce. From the fall planing, I had been harvesting leaves up until that December storm. Its leaves are larger than Speckles and were crispy good in salads, sandwiches & hamburgers. I don't recall any bitterness during the summer. It was a larger plant than the Speckles, but it doesn't seem to have survived the snow.
Soon, I'll be "winter sowing" the lettuce seeds and others. After some repairs to the larger cloche, maybe I'll have some new seedlings to plant in it soon.
Friday, January 09, 2009
I know Molly does! See her recent post here.
I haven't grown it before, simply because it is not something I buy often, and I know nothing about growing them. However, twice recently, I've had a salad with cabbage included that I really enjoyed.
Molly's post made me think about it (harvests in January?!). Then, in my Seed Starter's Handbook, it contains this warning: "Since cabbage seeds seem to germinate 100%, keep a rein on your seed-sowing hand..." Gotta love that!
So I'm open to your suggestions! What varieties do you prefer? It looks like there are early varieties and late varieties. Any preference there?
What growing tips do you have? When do you start them?
Thanks for your input!
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Costa Rica is looking better and better!
Snackjack pumpkins have been a favorite of mine. They are a nice size for cooking and they provide rather hulless seeds for roasting. I didn't locate seeds last year, however. So instead, I grew Small Sugar pumpkins. They have been good for eating, but the seeds were not so good for roasting. Here is more of the 2006 Snackjack harvest.
This week, the R.H. Shumway's catalog and Territorial Seed catalog arrived. I've never ordered from Shumway's as I've tended to favor northwest seed suppliers and their recommendations for our somewhat cooler summers. There in the Shumway's I found the Snackjacks! Do you have any experience with Shumway's?
1. Is it true that if I grow more than one type of open pollinated pumpkins, I'll need to keep them isolated?
2. If I don't succeed in keeping them isolated, will it impact the quality of the produce or will it just mean the seeds (& future generations) won't necessary be true to the parent?
3. Snackjacks are a hybrid. Will they have any impact on the open pollinated variety?
ANSWERS from Molly: Nothing will affect this year's crop. If you wanted to save seeds for planting you'd have to keep your pumpkins far away from not just other pumpkins, but winter and summer squash.
Territorial Seed offers a little white and orange stripped pumpkin that looks a lot like my mystery pumpkin in this post. It is a Lil' Pump-Ke-Mon pumpkin. Mine grew from a decoration I had bought the year before so I didn't know if I should eat it. This PKM one is cute and edible.
I will grow more Rouge vif d'Etampes (below), but as a open pollinated variety, my questions above apply. They are beautiful and good eating. For some reason, mine didn't store well, however. And from my neighbor, I have some Holland's Land O Giants pumpkin seeds to grow. These are mondo prize-winning pumpkins from a Washington grower. ... I think it is time to start that second pumpkin patch on the other side of the house!
From Tina: Blue Moon pumpkins have flavor, seeds and color. "The skin is a nice blue/gray, but the flesh is the most beautiful, rich color - makes fab cookies and pies. The seeds are plump and delicious.It's really a wonderful pumpkin!"
From Molly: Suggests Mars pumpkins for our cool NW. "...Although I needed to ripen them in the greenhouse after the weather got cold, they did turn orange and they are really nice and sweet. They seem to be keeping well, also."
I appreciate your input on the open pollination questions and more pumpkin varieties!
Saturday, January 03, 2009
This one has a lot going on, but in person, it made for a very creative display. As noted, it is all edible (although it has been sitting the hotel lobby for a month...). Here's your chance to eat an pre-algebra book!
Friday, January 02, 2009
And also to a neighborhood botanical garden... with a frozen garden pond. Brrr!
Above, the side of the log. It was quite overcast and I didn't have much luck capturing the growth all along both sides (didn't help that it was well above my head). Maybe I'll be back that way for another try.